Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) in partnership with the Ghana Blind Union (GBU) has launched the first census publications report in braille, giving data on water and sanitation to aid project execution at district levels.
The production of reports for people with difficulty in seeing is part of the commitment of GSS to disseminate census data in diverse ways to meet the needs of all data users.
The data is a general and thematic report from the 2021 population and housing census specifically on water and sanitation between the years 2010 and 2021.
Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, the Government Statistician, said there was a need to look at data from different perspectives hence releasing the report in braille was crucial.
He said this would help attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of leaving no one behind.
He said there were six goals, which directly and expressively touch on water, however, accessing potable water was mandatory.
Prof Annim said the data was to inform stakeholders, government operatives and non-governmental organisations to identify water and sanitation problems to allocate projects specifically to deprived areas.
He said the GSS was implementing its data-inclusive data charter hence the addition of vulnerable persons, especially the blind is necessary.
The Government Statistician said the focus of the report was to tackle the disaggregation among Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) projects, nationally, 1.6% drop in open defecation over an eleven-year period.
However, he called on the Minister for Local Government Decentralization and Rural Development to discuss it with district chiefs to aid development.
He appealed to the GBU to help communicate in absolute terms to reap the dividend of data for development.
Prof Annim congratulated the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for being one of the leading organisations for having a clear strategy to help Ghana attain the SDGs.
Patricia Dovi Sampson, director in charge of General Admin at the Ministry of Sanitation, who read a speech on behalf of the sanitation minister, said the report would provide valuable information to support the implementation of policies and ensure that all persons in Ghana have access to safe, sufficient, affordable water and sanitation services.
She said, “It is our expectation that this further analysis of the data will enhance targeting and priority setting in our collective efforts to attain adequate, clean and reliable water supply as well as a decent environment for all.”
She also assured the Statistical Service of the Ministry’s commitment to future collaborations “to produce valuable statistical products that support evidence-based decision-making at all levels.”
Lorretta Roberts, a representative from UNICEF, said with the right investments for the Metropolitan, municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), Ghana should eliminate open defecation before 2030.
She said social and behavioural change, support from private institutions and enforcement of laws would help reduce open defecation in every district.
She noted that only some selected districts are carrying out WASH projects, which she said was not encouraging in the effort to end open defecation in Ghana.