Stakeholders engaged on sustainable budget allocation to maintain WASH projects

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waterAid
WaterAid

WaterAid Ghana, a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) focused non-Governmental organisation has engaged stakeholders in the Upper East Region as part of efforts to ensure adequate budgetary allocations for the sustainability of WASH projects.

The stakeholders including District Coordinating Directors, District Budget officers, District Budget Analysts, District Works Engineers, WASH Focal Persons, District Health Directors, Regional Planning Officer, Regional Works Engineer and Regional Director of Health among others, drawn from eight districts in the region received training on Life Cycle Cost Approach (LCCA) on budgeting.

The Life Cycle Cost Approach (LCCA) is a comprehensive budgeting method that assesses the total cost of an asset or facility over its life cycle, including planning, initial capital cost, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, operational, maintenance and future rehabilitation costs among others

The training aimed at equipping the participants with the requisite skills to make holistic budgetary allocations for WASH projects, particularly water systems in healthcare facilities, to ensure funds were available at all times for maintenance purposes

It had funding support from the Helmsley Charitable Trust, Global Affairs Canada, and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Mr Gilbert Asante, the Programmes Officer in charge of Policy, Water Aid Ghana, speaking at the workshop in Bolgatanga noted that over the years some WASH projects in some districts had broken down but not repaired due to lack of allocated funds for maintenance.

He said usually the Assemblies and other stakeholders involved did not budget sustainably for the total life cycle of the project including operational and maintenance costs among others.

According to him, projects must be budgeted holistically to cover the capital cost as well as include the capital maintenance cost, operational cost, direct and indirect support cost, among others to sustain those projects for their entire life span.

He underscored the need for the capacities of budget officers and other stakeholders in WASH to be built, adding “it would enable them to be proactive in budgeting for projects so that when those projects break down, there would be ready funds to maintain them for continuous usage”.

Mr Asante reiterated the commitment of WaterAid Ghana and its partners to strengthening systems to enhance access to WASH services in healthcare facilities in the districts and added that adopting LCCA would ensure sustainability.
Mr Alexander Obuobisa-Darko, WASH Specialist and Facilitator of the training urged the participants to adopt LCCA to improve their works in the area of budget planning for the sustainability of WASH projects.

Mr Iddrisu Kelly, the Development Planning Officer, Tempane District Assembly, said the workshop was an eye opener as it had revealed certain technicalities that would aid him in his work

“I think this workshop is worth it because it is so revealing and has opened our eyes as participants to a lot of things and this would help advance our work in terms of budget preparation for WASH projects,” he stated.
Mr Alhassan Ahmed, District Coordinating Director, Bawku West, explained that only the initial costs of the WASH projects were often considered, making it difficult for the projects to be maintained as a result of lack of funds and assured that the situation would change.

The beneficiary districts include Kassena-Nankana and Builsa North Municipals, Bongo, Kassena-Nankana West, Bawku West, Tempane, Binduri and Garu districts.

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