Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), an innovative organisation that brings local and global expertise to deliver water and sanitation services to the urban poor, has interacted with the media in Kumasi, as part of moves to solicit ideas towards solving the problem of water and sanitation in the country.
The project, dubbed the Oforikrom Water and Sanitation (OWAS) project, offers an opportunity for the media to learn at firsthand, some interventions and approaches being used by development partners and Government of Ghana to arrest the appalling water and sanitation situation in the country.
According to the Project Manager, Mr. Issaka Balima Musah, the project was under the African Cities for the Future Project, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
He said the OWAS Project was conceived in February 2007, and had gone through the concept and scoping phases in the Oforikrom constituency, where the pilot scheme was started.
He noted that the partners of Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) in Ghana, CARE and Water Aid, which he said were overseeing the project, engaged all the major stakeholders, right from the beginning, to identify the needs and come up with potential solutions.
Mr. Issaka further underscored that the ongoing water and sanitation projects in Kumasi, notably the Urban Water Project, and the second Urban Environmental Sanitation Project, had been reviewed by the stakeholders, and confirmed that the (OWAS) Project would not duplicate, but complement the activities of those projects.
The Programme Manager, Water Aid Ghana, Gabriel Kwabena Adu-Wusu, also disclosed that the Oforikrom Water and Sanitation project would be implemented in the city of Kumasi, as part of a wider African Cities for the future initiative, comprising 6 projects in 5 countries in Africa, with funds from the USAID.
He said the same goal and objectives would go for all 6 projects, while the Kumasi portion was to deal primarily with the pilot phase of OWAS at Kotei.
Currently, the ACF budget for Ghana can handle a water system, 20-seater toilet facility, and hygiene education in all five communities under the project.
Ghana’s inclusion in the project, according to him, was informed by the fact that water and sanitation coverage in the country was quite low, at about 61% and 40% respectively.
‘The Government of Ghana is targeting a national water coverage of about 85% by 2012 (Ghana Water Policy, 2006), and a national sanitation coverage of 53% in the same period,’ he noted.