Monday, September 9, 2013

Only about half of Ghana’s population drinks tap water

BY EDMUND SMITH-ASANTE

Fetching water from Kasu river for use. Credit, Hagar Sey GWJN
Only 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.
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.
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.”
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.

FACTS:
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
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Ghana
  • Mazambique
  • Rwanda
  • Tunisia
  • Zimbabwe
and in five river basins/aquifer systems:
  • Kagera Basin
  • Lake Chad
  • Limpopa Basin
  • North-Western Sahara Aquifer System
  • Volta Basin

GJA 2010 Award Winners

GJA 2010 Award Winners
Dzifa, Emelia and Gertrude

GJA 2011 Award Winners

GJA 2011 Award Winners
GWJN's 2011 GJA Award-Winning Team

New WASH-JN Executives

New WASH-JN Executives
They are from left - Edmund, Ghana, Aminata: Guinea, Alain: Benin, Paule: Senegal and Ousman: Niger

Celebrating Award

Celebrating Award
The benefits of Award Winning!

Hard Work Pays!

Hard Work Pays!
In a pose with my plaque