BY EDMUND SMITH-ASANTE
about 47 out of every 100 Ghanaian households use pipe-borne water as their
main source of drinking water, according to the country’s 2010 census results.
Disclosing this recently in Accra, Dr. Isaac Frimpong Mensah-Bonsu, Director and Technical Advisor on MDGs at the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) stated; “We have good progress with respect to water supply. The 2010 Census has revealed that 46.5% of households in Ghana use pipe-borne water as their main source of drinking water, while 29.1% use bore-holes or protected wells, with 9.4% depending on sachet or bottled water.”
|Fetching water from Kasu river for use. Credit, Hagar Sey GWJN|
The remaining 43 per cent either drink from bore-holes or protected wells, sachet or bottled water, or depend on surface water such as rivers, streams and dams or rainwater.
He however disclosed “There is still 10.6% of households in Ghana that depend on surface water such as rivers, streams, dams, canals and ponds for drinking water,” adding, “Only 0.7% of households depend on rainwater for drinking purposes.”
Delivering a statement as chair for the launch of WACDEP (Water, Climate and Development Programme), an initiative developed by Global Water Partnership (GWP) and the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), he stressed that water and climate, two critical determinants of development in the country, have remained central in all of Ghana’s recent national development frameworks.
“Climate variability has also emerged as another major development issue in the country. The commission is therefore in support of programmes and projects to address these two critical development issues in the country,” he said.
According to him, some of the issues identified in the Ghana Shared Growth Development Agenda (GSGDA), are inadequate access to quality and affordable water, poor water resource management and unfriendly facilities, all of which have necessitated acceleratation of the provision of safe and affordable water and ensuring of proper management of water resources in the policy objectives of the GSGDA .
To ensure achievement of the GSGDA’s objectives, Dr. Isaac Mensah-Bonsu said “there is the need to develop District Water and Sanitation Plans (DWSP) and their corresponding Strategic Investment Plans (SIPs), as well as strengthen public-private and NGO partnerships in water provision”, while, improving community owned and managed water supply systems.
He also aluded that there was the need to facilitate the creation of a National Water Grid system by a phased inter-linkage of the treated water systems in the country after the expansion and modernisation programmes and extend distribution networks, especially to low income consumers; and strengthen the management of Ghana Water Company to enhance service delivery.
The NDPC Director stated further, that to ensure proper management of water resources, there is the need to ensure the implementation of a water policy that clearly defines the roles of Central Government, Municipal and District Assemblies in the prudent management of water resources and the environment.
Also, to initiate river catchments protection in the context of integrated water resources management using the water-shed as a basic planning unit, preparation of a comprehensive Coastal Zone Management Strategy that addresses the protection, management, and sustainable use of wetlands and other coastal resources.
He also urged the setting up of mechanisms and measures to support, encourage and promote rainwater harvesting for all new buildings at all levels and incorporation of water supply programmes into estate development schemes.
Presenting an overview of the programme, Nii Boi Ayibontele, Chair of the GWP-Ghana explained that WACDEP’s objective is to assist in the enhancement of technical and institutional capacity and predictable financing and investments in water security and climate change adaptation, for economic growth and human security.
He disclosed beneficiaries of the programme as the planning units and staff in the sector ministries such as the Finance and Economic Planning [MOFEP], Water Resource Works and Housing, Food and Agriculture [MOFA], Education, Lands and Natural Resources Ministries, as well as the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Environmental Protection Agency, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies with farmers, fishermen and herdsmen on farms being the ultimate beneficiaries.
WACDEP will be implemented over a 3-year period in Ghana at a cost of 600,000 and will be financed by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the Department for International Development (DFID), The Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and other development partners.
The Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP) has been created to support the integration of water security and climate change adaptation into development planning processes and the design of financing and investment strategies and is initiated in eight African countries.
The goal of the programme is to promote water as a key part of sustainable regional and national development and contribute to climate change adaptation for economic growth and human security.
The objectives of the programme are to support countries in:
- the integration of water security and climate resilience in development planning processes
- the development of partnerships and capacity of institutions and stakeholders to build resilience to climate change through better water management
- the development of “no regret” financing and investment strategies for water security and climate change adaptation.
WACDEP is operatianlized by the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and part of AMCOW's workplan and runs over five years from May 2011 - April 2016 with an estimated budget of 12.7 million Euros.
It is initiated in eight countries:
- Burkina Faso
and in five river basins/aquifer systems:
- Kagera Basin
- Lake Chad
- Limpopa Basin
- North-Western Sahara Aquifer System
- Volta Basin