Business News of Saturday, 22 February 2020
Potable water supply coverage in rural communities in the Central Region is expected to rise significantly to about 70 percent by close of 2020.
This will be achieved through rigorous reforms in the management of community water systems and the completion of the Additional Financing Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Project (AF-SRWSP).
Currently, rural water coverage in the Region stands at 63.80 percent.
These came to light when members of the CWSA Board led by its Chairman, Mr Paa Kwesi Yankey Eduafo and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Worlanyo Kwadjo Siabi paid a working visit to some water supply systems in the Region.
The two-day tour also afforded them the opportunity to inspect the progress of work on the AF-SRWSP and interacted with staff of CWSA to know their challenges
The AF-SRWSP, which forms part of the Government’s effort to increase access to potable water and environmental sanitation in rural communities and small towns, would add additional nine community water systems to the existing 17 in the Region.
It is being implemented by the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), and has been projected to benefit over 187,000 people from 144 communities in eight Districts of the Region.
The over GH¢70million project, which was funded by the World Bank has been completed and is scheduled for commissioning in two weeks.
Under the reforms, which started in 2017, the Assin Foso Water System had been successfully automated and a modern water system office with a mini laboratory to check water quality on daily basis is being constructed in the Town, while the Twifo Hemang Water System had been renovated.
Additionally, the CWSA is seeking to replace old water treatment plants across the Region with an ultra-modern automated iron remover treatment plant, which has a bigger capacity and longer life span to improve upon the quality of water supplied to beneficiary communities.
Briefing the media after the tour, Engineer Kwesi Brown, Regional Director of the CWSA, said more households would be connected onto the CWSA’s water supply system.
Giving a summary of the project in the Region, he said, 570 kilometers of pipes had been laid and a seven booster stations with two of them being hybrid, nine water management offices, eleven tanks and 403 stand pipes have been installed.
To ensure that water was available to rural communities within the catchment areas to increase water access, he said smart taps had been installed where people could access water through tokens.
This, he explained was in pursuance of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Six (6), which enjoined the country to ensure that every household had potable water supply.
Ing. Brown said despite the success, the Agency faced challenges with water quality issues due to galamsey activities, logistics and general staff welfare.
Mr. Siabi explained that the reforms became necessary because there was a huge knowledge gap at the Districts and community level.
It was primarily to improve the operational efficiency of water systems and to mobilise enough revenue for maintenance, expansion and construction of new facilities to increase water access.
He said since the Agency embarked on the reforms in 2017, there had been tremendous improvement and progress in the areas of direct management of water systems, rehabilitation of broken down water systems and job creation among others.
The Board Chairman, Mr Eduafo expressed satisfaction about the progress of work on the AF-SRWSP as well as the performance of the CWSA staff and called for support from the stakeholders to ensure that every rural household had access to potable water.
He stressed the need for CWSA to have qualified staff to be able to work towards increasing the quantum of quality water, indicating that water provision, operation and maintenance required technical minds.