Dr Freda Prempeh, Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources has announced that the phase two of the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area (GKMA) Sanitation and Water Project (SWP) will be expanded to cover the entire Ashanti Region.
Currently, the project is targeting some eight Metropolitan and Municipalities in Greater Kumasi, where it is expected to provide 42,000 household toilet facilities and 129 institutional toilets.
The other component of GKMA-SWP Component two, is also extending potable water by laying 120km of pipelines, 5,000 new service connections, reduction in non-revenue water as well as the establishment of telemetry and retooling of Ghana Water Company Limited workshop in Greater Kumasi.
The current beneficiary areas are Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Old Tafo, Oforikrom, Kwadaso, Asokwa, Asokore-Mampong, Ejisu and Suame Municipalities.
Dr Prempeh who was speaking at the commissioning of three 15-seater sanitation facilities at separate programmes at the Parkoso Community Day School and KNUST SHS in the Asokore-Mampong and Oforikrom Municipalities respectively, added that some parts of Ahafo and Eastern regions would also benefit from phase two of the project’s expansion.
The Minister expressed worry at the threats of danger, unhygienic environments posed to communities and called on all Ghanaians to support the government’s rapid expansion of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities across the country.
She said the Government through the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources had invested in several projects that would help eradicate open defecation and enhance safe sanitation practices.
For instance, at the end of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) SWP in December 2020, the project had delivered 28,641 household toilets benefitting about 389,128 people and 406 improved and modern disability-friendly, gender sensitive institutional toilet facilities for about 251,872 people.
Dr Prempeh, in highlighting key outcomes of the project, said it was the introduction of bio-digester technology in Ghana.
About 98 per cent of toilets provided under this project are bio-digester systems and the surge in the use and acceptance of bio-digester technology across the country was largely because it was cheap and easy to install.
It had minimal maintenance cost, required minimal space for construction and was environmentally friendly.
On the overall gains for Ghana working towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal Six by 2023, the Minister mentioned that in 2021, the population with access to basic drinking water had increased to 87.7 percent.
Within the same period, Ghanaians with access to improved toilet facilities also stood at 60 percent with more facilities being constructed across the country.
Mr George Asiedu, the GKMA-SWP, Coordinator, explaining the project, said the project was a World Bank grant to support the Government of Ghana’s effort through the Ministry to increase access to improved sanitation and improved water supply in the GKMA.
Mr Kingsley Arthur, Headmaster, Parkoso Community Day School, expressed appreciation to the Government for providing the sanitary facilities for the school and pledged the school’s resolve to keep the facility in a good condition.
This, he believed, could foster a positive learning environment and enhance self-esteem among students and members of staff.