The Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) has introduced a number of reforms in the management and provision of rural water supply to ensure sustainability while serving the communities’ clean-water needs.
The reforms have become necessary to avoid the continuous breakdown and rehabilitation of pumps and pipes, control interrupted services to the communities, monitor water quality and fill the management knowledge gap at the district and community levels in terms of provision, operation and maintenance.
At a Regional Stakeholders Engagement on the Reforms, led by the National Communication Committee in Sekondi, Mr Ibraham Adork, from the CWSA Head Office, said the reforms were necessitated by the high indebtedness of community managed water systems to the Electricity Company of Ghana and the Volta River Authority, amounting to about 3,000,000 Ghana cedis.
The ultimate objective of the policy reforms was to transform the CWSA into a utility organisation having direct responsibility for provision and management of small towns piped water supply systems while providing point water systems in collaboration with the MMDAs.
The move was to ensure delivery of quality, reliable and affordable water in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, create decent jobs for management professionals, and apply appropriate technology to water services to rural communities and small towns.
He said the reforms would, among other things, increase access, improve operational efficiency, help apply appropriate technologies to reduce non-revenue water, adopt state of the art technology to address water quality and mobilise revenue for maintenance, expansion and construction of new facilities.
The rest are professionalizing the operation and management of the piped water systems, create support for sustained operations and improve access to sanitation and hygiene services to maximize health benefits.
The new model of professionals managing the water systems, under the CWSA and the fading out of community management approach had, over the last two years, worked significant magic in revenue inflows and helped in operations and maintenance of the existing water supply systems.
Mr McCarthy Ofori, the Western Regional Director, said the Regional Office, through the initiative, had revived the defunct water system in Ahanta West, improved upon supply at Mpohor and was doing well in the northern parts of the Region in terms of operations and maintenance.
The reforms have added 624 professional staff – engineers, technician engineers, accountants, water safety specialists, revenue officers, and community relations officers – in managing the facilities for improved revenue and quality water supply.
Osabarima Kow Ntsi, the Omanhene of Mpohor Traditional Area, lauded the CWSA for the efforts at improving water supply in the area.