A project to provide 300,000 people with access to basic sanitation services and provide 250,000 people with access to basic drinking water has begun in six regions in the northern part of the country.
The five-year project dubbed: “Enhancing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Activity” partner and work with government to enhance governance and planning for WASH projects, strengthen sustainable financing, improve private sector engagement, and accelerate the adoption of healthy hygiene practices.
The beneficiary regions included Upper East, Upper West, North-East, Northern, Savannah, and Oti.
It is being implemented by a consortium of 11 organisations led by Global Communities, with other members being World Vision, Water Aid, Water4, Safe Water Network, Aquaya, Afram Plains Development Organisation, Deloitte, and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to the tune of $45.5 million.
Madam Stephanie Sullivan, United States (U.S) Ambassador to Ghana, who spoke during the launch of the WASH Activity in Tamale, reiterated the United States’ commitment to supporting Ghana to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (six) to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030.
Madam Sullivan said “Communities need clean water and healthy sanitation. Together we will continue to support individuals, communities, districts, and regions to achieve universal access to clean water and basic sanitation and hygiene services. This is an essential action during the COVID-19 pandemic, and beyond, to improve the health of Ghanaians and their economy.”
She said this new activity builds on over a decade of partnership between the U.S. Government and the Government of Ghana on WASH and overall health care delivery systems.
Madam Sullivan said over the past five years, through the WASH for Health project, 150,000 people gained access to basic drinking water services and 200,000 gained access to improved sanitation facilities.
She said WASH for Health built and rehabilitated 200 water boreholes providing an essential source of water to hospitals, clinics, and schools while five, small-town water systems are providing clean water to 50,000 people.
The ambassador said also through WASH for Health, a ground-breaking partnership with the private sector led to the development of the Digni-loo, a more durable latrine, which is 80 per cent cheaper than similar latrines.
Madam Cecilia Dapaah, Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, whose speech was read on her behalf, said the beneficiary regions had low sanitation coverage and expressed optimism that the activity, therefore, would have great impact in those areas.
She urged all the Regional Coordinating Councils in the beneficiary areas to work to ensure success of the activity and said it would contribute immensely towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (6).
Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister expressed gratitude to the United States Government for its support to the WASH sector, saying it was also critical towards the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Alberto Wilde, Chief of Party of the WASH Activity, said the activity would impart lives and positively impart behaviours and therefore called on all partners and stakeholders to play their roles effectively to ensure success of the activity.
Mr Attah Arhin, Chairman of the Coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations in Water and Sanitation, who chaired the launch, expressed confidence in the ability and capability of the consortium members to deliver on the activity.
Mr Arhin urged government to cooperate with the consortium members, create the enabling environment and support the activity to ensure that it was delivered for the good of the people and the country.
Meanwhile, prior to the launch of the WASH Activity, Madam Sullivan inaugurated a medical waste incinerator for the Nanton Health Centre in the Northern Region, a facility constructed with support from USAID, to support operations of the health facility.