Friday, March 21, 2014

Operational documents for water, sanitation launched

BY EDMUND SMITH-ASANTE

Alhaji Collins Dauda launching the documents with
the assistance of Mrs Theodora Adomako-Agyei
Four operational documents for Ghana’s water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector have been launched as part of activities to mark this year’s World Water Day, which falls on March 22.


The documents are the National Community Water and Sanitation Strategy (NCWSS), Project Implementation Manual (PIM), the District Operational Manual (DOM) and the Framework for Assessing and Monitoring of Services of Facilities.

Documents

The NCWSS defines the objectives of the sub-sector, clarifies institutional roles and responsibilities, provides a framework for operation of the National Community Water and Sanitation Programme (NCWSP) and strategies to support the district assemblies in the implementation of water and sanitation projects.

Useful lessons learnt after years of implementing rural water and sanitation projects are consolidated by the PIM, which also provides methods to serve as a guide to project implementation, with the participation of stakeholders.

It also prescribes standards and guidelines for potable water supply and provision of related sanitation services among others, such as a provision that the minimum acceptable service for rural water is 20 litres per head per day.

The DOM has been developed to ensure that districts follow the appropriate process and procedures for the provision of sustainable water and sanitation at the community and district levels.

The development of the framework for assessing and monitoring of services of facilities is also intended to basically maintain and improve on coverage of water and sanitation by the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), which it has achieved through the NCWSP, from less than 30 per cent in 1994 to 63.4 per cent in 2012.

Importance of documents

Some of the participants at the launch
At the launch of the documents at a sector reflection programme in Accra, the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alhaji Collins Dauda, said while collaboration and co-ordination in Ghana’s water sector were desirable, they had not been the default choice.

He said that was because stakeholders in the sub-sector had collaborated using varied approaches that had resulted in a multiplicity of processes and procedures, which has led to the overstretching of the demand on the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) and the district assemblies.

“These documents should help Ghana to provide an environment that ensures a harmonised approach to provide water and sanitation services by donors and NGOs,” he said.

Publication of document

In his welcome address, the Chief Executive of CWSA, Mr Clement Bugase, said the non-publication of the operational documents and their inaccessibility to stakeholders had resulted in many fragmented methods, processes, and implementation procedures.

The chairman for the sector reflection and launch, Mr David Assumeng Tetteh, who is the chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee for Water Resources, Works and Housing, urged all stakeholders to adhere to the guidelines in the documents and asked that they be put online to make them more accessible.

The event was supported by the International Resource Centre (IRC) Ghana and the Conrad N Hilton Foundation.

Writer’s email: Edmund.Asante@graphic.com.gh 

This story was first published by the Daily Graphic on March 21, 2014

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