Safe Water Network makes case for decentralised water enterprises

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Safe Water Network
Safe Water Network

Safe Water Network, a water advocacy non-governmental organisation working in communities across Ghana, has presented key findings on resilience of decentralised small water enterprises to stakeholders as case, and part of overall plan to ensure water availability and access to communities.

The report was released at this year’s Stockholm International Water Institutes World Water Week held from August 23 to 27.

A statement signed by its communications Manager, Nathan Yardy, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Tamale explained that its Director for Africa Initiatives, speaking at the event which was virtual, said “We have nearly a decade of field implementation experience with an operating footprint in Ghana in over 130 communities and providing water access for over 400,000 people.

The statement indicated that COVID-19 impacted Safe Water Network’s finances and operations, however the institution showed strong resilience from combination of factors including; willing determination to serve the people to achieve their practical water needs.

Safe Water Network and USAID at the meeting it stated, presented insights on evidence-based strategies for City Water Balance Planning (CWBP) from a partnership with the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board.

“The CWBP toolkit is a decision support system tool that can be used by municipalities worldwide to address water security holistically through data-driven solutions.

“Safe Water Network, Envicom Corporation, and Johns Hopkins University demonstrated a tool in development that utilised Geographic Information System (GIS) as a cost-effective risk assessment tool for resiliency planning of water infrastructure”.

The statement explained that Mr Joseph Ampadu-Boakye, Programmes Manager for Safe Water Network in Ghana, gave examples of situations when resiliency planning could have been helpful, and mentioned recent flooding of Lake Volta that affected several water stations, and added that “Envicom’s GIS tool will enable us to make an accurate and comprehensive assessment of risk factors for sustainable investments in climate-resilient water infrastructure into the future.”

The statement explained “We increased water production by 25 per cent to meet growing demand as a result of the Government of Ghana’s free water mandate and connected more than 20 health facilities.

“In conversation with The World Bank and the Osprey Foundation, Safe Water Network and members of the global Community of Practice for small water enterprises (SWEs) released a joint report, ‘Keep the Water Flowing,’ on the resiliency of the decentralised small water enterprise model in the face of COVID-19 and how implementers, communities, and donors in Ghana and in other countries collectively responded to keep water flowing”.

The statement indicated “Adrienne Lane, the Chief Strategy Officer at Water for Good, said ‘Small water enterprises are not only resilient, they play active roles in facilitating hygiene. Recommendations require we manage the COVID-19 pandemic, while partnerships between the WASH service sector and government are key to strengthening the overall sector’.”

The statement explained, “On the last day of World Water Week, leaders from Safe Water Network, PepsiCo, UNICEF, USAID, and Athena Infonomics discussed the challenges and opportunities they had encountered while working to bridge the gender gap in the water and sanitation workforce (public and private sector) through policy, regulation, and grassroots action”.

“Safe Water Network is committed to addressing the gap in water services delivery, which needlessly compromises the health and livelihoods of 2.1 billion people globally, with focus on reaching rural small towns and peri-urban areas on the fringes of big cities and urban slums. Safe Water Network is advancing cost-effective, decentralised solutions that target these fast-growing areas where over a billion people lack reliable supply of safe water”.

The statement added.

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