Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Government owes us for eight months – Zoomlion


Kwame Gyan addressing the press
Leading waste management company, Zoomlion Ghana Limited, has disclosed that the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), formerly the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), has lagged behind in eight months of arrears in management fees, which is far above the one month agreed period as stipulated in their contract.

The company said despite this setback in its agreement with the government agency, it has tried to keep the programme going, sometimes to its discomfiture, paying interest in loans contracted from the banks for as much as 30% and at present owes participants in the programme two months in allowances.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

First Water Integrity Forum comes off June 2013


The first ever international forum on water integrity dubbed Water Integrity Forum, takes place in Delft, the Netherlands from June 5, 2013 to June 7, 2013.

Co-organised by the Water Integrity Network (WIN), Water Governance Centre (WGC) and UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, the three-day conference is meant to address the need for extending the reach of water integrity action.

Specifically, the main objectives of the forum are to take stock of progress in addressing corruption issues in the water sector, share knowledge, approaches and experiences, and build alliances to address integrity challenges in the water sector.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

International Biodiversity Day to focus on water


The world marks International Biodiversity Day tomorrow, May 22 with the theme, “Water and Biodiversity”.

Commemoration of the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) every year on 22 May since the year 2000 is a special occasion to reflect on the role biodiversity plays in the lives of people and this year’s theme has been chosen in recognition of the United Nations designation of 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ghana reduces shared latrine usage to 35 percent


From a high rate of 52 per 100 persons that used shared latrines in Ghana, the figure has dropped to 35 per 100 people, according to the 2011 Multi Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) report.

Disclosing this Sunday, May 19, 2013, Ibrahim Musah, Head of Policy and Partnership, WaterAid Ghana, who was commenting on improved sanitation coverage in Ghana, said:  “The MICS report has just been released and the report says as at 2011 we have moved just one percentage point – from 14% to 15% while open defecation rate has increased from 19% to 23%, but the good thing also is that shared latrine use has dropped from 52% to around 35%.”

Saying these were statistics that should gladden every Ghanaian heart, he indicated that collection of solid waste though, still had some few challenges with regards to the role of the private sector.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Open defecation - Over 5.7m Ghanaians now do it daily


Open defecation is rampant in open drains like these
In just two years it will be time for reckoning, when countries belonging to the United Nations gather to compare notes on how they have fared in 25 years since they set targets for themselves with respect to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 1990.

Although Ghana has chalked tremendous progress in some of the eight areas of the development goals including MDG 7, Target 7c, which is to: "Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking-water and basic sanitation”, whereas it has already surpassed its target of 78% for water, the country has failed woefully in increasing access to improved sanitation.

Crawling at a snail’s pace of one percentage point increase each year, access to improved sanitation in Ghana is now at 15% according to the latest Multi Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) report released few days ago.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

AfDB supports three countries with $17.8m for Climate Change resilience


Following the approval March of US $18.6 million for three water and sanitation projects, the African Development Bank (AfDB), has renewed its support for climate change resilience in Madagascar, Benin and Angola.

As a result of that approval too, the three African countries have been able to access US $17.8 million of adaptation finance in the form of grants from the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) during the second quarter of 2013.

Monday, May 13, 2013

High demand for fuel wood in Burkina Faso eroding conservation gains


Donkey carts transporting fuel wood is a common sight in Burkina Faso
Although conservationists globally have been campaigning over the past few years for the use of alternative sources of energy such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) other than fuel wood, indications are that it is still very much in vogue in the Sahel country of Burkina Faso.

Indigenes living on the outskirts of the capital Ouagadougou especially, use firewood as their main source of energy in their households.

Resettlement blues in Bissa Gold communities


The Bissa Gold SA mine in Burkina Faso had not begun operations yet when a group of environmental journalists from 11 West African countries visited in 2012.

However, two major communities – Bissa and Sabce, 90 km from Ouagadougou, which have been displaced by the mine and so have been relocated, were already expressing some misgivings and dissatisfaction.

Their misgivings were on the change in their cultural setting in view of the way the resettlement buildings have been put up and also the taking away of their main livelihood, which is farming.

Friday, May 10, 2013

No Household Water Treatment in Ghana’s Water Policy


Although for three days this week (from May 6 to May 8, 2013) deliberations have been ongoing in Ghana at a workshop in Accra on the integration of Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage (HWTS) strategies in the West Africa sub-region, Ghana is yet to incorporate this component in its Water Policy.

This was identified at the country’s 26th National Level Learning Alliance Platform (NLLAP), organised by the Resources Centre Network (RCN) and held on Thursday, May 31, 2012.
According to the RCN’s WASH Reflections, which is a monthly review of NLLAP numbered 25 and titled “Household Water Treatment and Storage: The story so far”, “There are three policy related gaps that must be addressed to advance Household Water Treatment and Storage (HWTS) in Ghana.”

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Global Water Partnership, West Africa holds Partners Meeting in Accra


Global Water Partnership (GWP), West Africa, today began its 5th Assembly of Partners (AP) meeting in Accra with the theme: “Water cooperation in West Africa: Meeting the challenge of commitments."

According to the organisers, the theme is taken from the General Assembly of the United Nations declaration of 2013 as the International Year of water cooperation in 2010 with the slogan "water, water everywhere, but on condition to share."

Objectives for the GWP/WA’s Partners Meeting are an introduction and adoption of the GWP / WA Chair’s report and introduction and adoption of the 2012 GWP/WA progress report and 2013 Work Plan.

Diarrhoea kills 10,000 children under 5 years in Ghana annually


Hon. Akwasi Opong-Fosu
Hon. Akwasi Opong-Fosu, Ghana’s Minister For Local Government and Rural Development, has lamented that in spite of efforts made in achieving the country’s water Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target, diarrhoea still remains the third killer of children under five years of age, accounting for 10,000 deaths every year.

Diarrhoea like many other diseases contracted through ingestion of contaminated and unsafe water, results in frequent passing of stool and vomiting and thus causes dehydration within a very short time. If not treated in time it can result in death as a result of the loss of body fluid.

Painting a squalid picture of the negative effects of contaminated water on the Ghanaian citizenry, he said: “Our health facilities continue to record periodic cholera outbreaks in some urban areas and small towns.  For example, in 2012 we reported 9,548 cholera cases with some 100 deaths.”

Experts meet in Accra on household water treatment, storage strategies

Participants in a group picture

About 70 participants from Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia are meeting in Accra, Ghana, for three days of deliberations on household water treatment and safe storage (HWTS) strategies for the West Africa sub-region.

Participants are key national and regional government officials and specialists from identified ministries that address HWTS such as health, water or equivalent, public works, education, WHO and UNICEF among other stakeholder organisations.

The workshop, which began Monday, May 6, 2013, is being held under the theme “Scaling-up HWTS - National policy environment and integration strategies” and will focus on how participating countries can double their efforts to scale up the implementation of household water treatment and safe storage.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Sota – A land between two streams but no water


One of the ponds with dirty and unhygienic water the people of Sota depend on.
It is not an exactly cool morning. The sun is up already, but the green canopy of the trees all around, have provided a welcome serenity and shade that unfortunately belies the predicament this beautiful community finds itself in.

Sota, a village near Dodowa in the Shai Osudoku district of Ghana’s Greater Accra region, derives its name from an akan word – ‘nsutam’ which translates ‘between two streams’ but which has been corrupted over the years to its present name.

Ironically though, the community’s population of 638 have constantly lived in want of water, which has become a very scarce and expensive resource for them. Thus, for instance, a 34-inch sized bucket of water, which sells at 5 Ghana pesewas or 10 Ghana pesewas in other communities, sells at 40Gp at Sota.

GJA 2010 Award Winners

GJA 2010 Award Winners
Dzifa, Emelia and Gertrude

GJA 2011 Award Winners

GJA 2011 Award Winners
GWJN's 2011 GJA Award-Winning Team

New WASH-JN Executives

New WASH-JN Executives
They are from left - Edmund, Ghana, Aminata: Guinea, Alain: Benin, Paule: Senegal and Ousman: Niger

Celebrating Award

Celebrating Award
The benefits of Award Winning!

Hard Work Pays!

Hard Work Pays!
In a pose with my plaque