joseph Kofi Adda
Mr. Joseph Kofi Adda, Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, has urged Non-governmental Organisations interested in providing safe and reliable drinking water to the people to scale up water supply to cover areas where water is needed most.
At the forum organized by the Safe Water Network, Ghana (SWNG), it was estimated that Ghana would need close to one billion dollars as an annual investment in the water supply sector to meet the SDG requirement.
But Government of Ghana has been able to commit about 82 million dollars to fund the sector, while the development partners contribute 32 million dollars, leaving a difference of 832 million dollars.
Safe Water Network, Ghana is a US-based Non-Governmental Organisation, operates in small towns or rural communities with the support of a lot of development agencies like the Hilton Foundation, Stone Family Foundation, Vital Foundation, Water Organisation amongst other stakeholders in the water sector.
Speaking at the forum dubbed ‘Beyond The Pipe Forum’ in Accra, the minister said the government is appealing to ‘Safe Water Network, Ghana’ to provide its Small Water Enterprises Working Group the needed structures to expand its water supply to rural areas, small towns and peri-urban communities across the country.
The Minister hinted the government is actively engaging partners to structure a Ghana Water Enterprise Trust, an independent entity that would draw more funding for the provision of safe, reliable and affordable water for everyone.
The Sixth Annual “2018 Beyond the Pipe Forum”, was organized by Safe Water Network, Ghana (SWNG), to convene sector leadership to advance a discussion on small water enterprises (SWEs) and advance action that could contribute to achieving sustainable and safely managed water services consistent with SDG 6.1.
The event drew together key stakeholders from the Ghana water sector—representing government, the private sector, NGOs, and other institutions—as well as representatives from Safe Water Network funding partners as: The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation; The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; The Stone Family Foundation; Newman’s Own Foundation; The Osprey Foundation; The Vitol Foundation; The Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility; GSMA Mobile for Development Utilities; amongst others.
The Minister of Sanitation ad Water Reources, Mr Adda, MP stated that access to basic social services including water supply remained a key priority for government and that it was committed to achieving it vision of providing safe, reliable and affordable drinking water for all.
He said other areas in focused included the strengthening of institutional structures of the Ministry to bring increased focus to public private partnerships and business development efforts.
Also, there is an intention to staff the Ministry with economics, legal, investment advisors and other professionals, professionalising water delivery at all levels and creating a more conducive environment policy for small water enterprises.
He expressed appreciation to the Small Water Enterprises (SWEs) for the greater role they could play to help achieve its vision of water for all by 2025, and SDG 6.1 for safely managed water supply by 2030.
Sanitation Minister also acknowledged the contributions of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Ghana’s water sector, saying both partners have invested in the sector for decades.
In addition, Mr. Joseph Kofi Adda noted, “the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is investing €3million over the next three years with Safe Water Network. We applaud your interest and support to the sector in diverse ways”.
In his welcome address, Mr. Charles Nimako, the Country Director of Africa Initiatives, Safe Water Network disclosed his outfit had demonstrated the critical role the SWEs played in providing accessible water to reach the 3.2 million of the 8.3 million people that lacked access to water supply in Ghana.
Mr. Nimako asserted that SWEs could only achieve its targets if able to address several requirements included financing a network of skilled implementers along with the required tool-kits, supportive supervision, regulation, a conducive policy and enabling environment for replication.
On his part, the First Secretary for Water and Climate, Mr. Fred Smiet, Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, also hinted his country would continue to play a key role in supplying water to the people until it reached its target of making drinking water accessible to 50 million people worldwide.
He said Netherlands contributed the highest amount to Ghana’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes; calling that provision of water and accessibility to communities must be sustained since sustainability proved to be a big challenge.
Sources: www.therepublicnewsonline.com/Delali Awuyeh