Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) from Possible to Profitable (P2P) has deployed a 4-million euro revolving fund to improve access to finance for households and house owners.
The deployment also has Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) benefiting from investment in WASH infrastructure and services.
The Project has, over the years, been a catalyst for growth and socio-economic development and led to the creation of innovative financing for MSMEs with loans for WASH investments.
The Project is supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, implemented by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation in partnership with Fidelity Bank.
Madam Theresa Swanzy – Baffoe, SNV Focal Point, WASH Project Manager, speaking at WASH financing forum, said WASH P2P Project had been in existence since 2015 and the objective was to increase access to WASH services through finance.
She said the Project increased access to finance by reaching out to 1,200 households and 240 SMEs, building the capacity of financial institutions, and drawing attention to economic potential and sharing ideas and outcomes to ensure effective conversation at national levels.
Madam Swanzy -Baffoe said the Project had disbursed over 1000 loans valued at GHC57 million across the country reaching 137,836 people and 90 per cent had been retrieved, showing encouraging commitment from beneficiaries.
She said the tenure range for beneficiaries was 18 to 24 months, at an interest rate of 10 per cent and the focus for the fund was on water, sanitation and hygiene, SMEs, and Micro Finance institutions (MFI).
The SNV Focal Point said the MFIs and MSMEs had direct link with the implementing partner bank while the households/house owners took the loans from them, which were accessible nationwide.
The Project Manager said the event would reflect on economic prospects in the WASH sector as well as associated risk and threats hampering its development and recognition as an economic driver.
She said deliberations would seek to contribute towards the establishment of a Sanitation Fund which was a key priority to sector players.
Mr Thomas lshmeal Adjei, the Project Head, Fidelity Bank, said a study, six years ago, unearthed the constraints to getting water and toilet facilities due to high payment requirements and unwillingness of banks to support households.
“The MSMEs inability to source loans from banks are due to risk factors and unstructured nature of businesses, hence the introduction of WASH,” he said.
Mr Adjei said the programme provided technical assistance to MSMEs to enable them to deliver high quality products and services while enhancing their administration and governance structure.
He said the programme made the households attractive to the financial sector players for loans to adequately respond to their growing demand for WASH services by households.
He said some of the key outcomes of the project were for WASH issues to be solved through innovation and digitization bringing efficiency, wider participation of banks, harmonisation of data and developing more interesting modules.
Mr Attah Arhin, Chairman, Ghana Coalition of NGOs in WASH Sector, said the massive involvement of government towards the WASH programme would help in its sustainability.
He said the Coalition was willing to support the government to design a financing arrangement that would work for everybody to address the WASH problems.
Mr Arhin said WASH was a catalyst for growth and promoted various sectors of the economy, therefore, if the government invested in the project the multiple effects would be more and all sectors would benefit.
He acknowledged that without WASH, there would be more challenges in the health sector since it prevented people from contracting ailments associated with water and hygiene.