By Edmund Smith-Asante, ACCRA
|Mr Charles Nimako, Safe Water Network Country Director addressing the forum|
The Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Mr Sampson Ahi, has stated that there are plans to enable every Ghanaian have access to potable water by the year 2025.
Mr Ahi, who was delivering the keynote address at a forum in Accra that sought to address water challenges in the communities using public-private partnerships (PPP), said the “government is on course to achieving our vision of providing water for all by 2015.”
He added that since it was an objective that could not be achieved by the government alone, partnerships with stakeholders would be encouraged in ensuring safe water solutions to the unserved areas.
“We recognise that partnership is the key to achieving our desire to attain universal coverage by 2025 and we place premium on it. To truly attain the target for water coverage, we must evaluate and embrace new technologies, new approaches and new ways of cooperation,” he said.
The one-day “Beyond the Pipe” forum was organised by Safe Water Network, a non-governmental organisation, and attracted various stakeholders in the water sector. It had the theme “Beyond the Pipe: Public-Private Partnerships for Community Water Solutions”.
The third of its kind to be held, the forum focused on two main issues; demonstrating the financial viability for public-private partnerships and addressing barriers to public-private partnerships.
Increase in water coverageSpeaking on the government’s role in enabling public-private partnerships, Mr Ahi said at the end of 2015, the government hoped to increase coverage for safe drinking water in both rural and urban areas to 65 per cent and 76 per cent respectively.
“In urban water, new projects have started at Akim Oda, Akwatia, Winneba, Sekyere Heman and Wa. We have also completed the Accra/Tema Metropolitan Area Rural Water Supply Project, which has added 9.2 million gallons per day to water supply in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area,” he said.
Mr Ahi added that under rural water supply, the peri-urban rural and small towns’ water and sanitation project in the Brong Ahafo Region, sustainable rural water and sanitation project in six regions and the Northern Region small towns water and sanitation project, were all ongoing.
Mr Chris Dunston, Senior Programme Officer, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, said although it was difficult for donors and the government to solve all the problems in the water sector, “there are a lot of resources in communities that can be utilised, as well as the private sector resources.”
He explained, however, that it took time, patience and collaboration among all the different parties involved, to make public-private partnerships work.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the Country Director of Safe Water Network, Mr Charles Nimako, said the series of forums were started three years ago, to impact the health of people through safe water; introduce a business approach in the supply and management of water and partner with like-minded organisations to operate sustainable rural water provision.
He underscored the importance of transparency and trust in water provision, saying everyone was willing to pay for services if their provision was good.
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This story was first published by the Daily Graphic on March 25, 2015