Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has appealed to donor agencies to introduce anti-corruption clauses in all cooperation agreements and streamline and strengthen anti-corruption tools as a way of supporting the fight against corruption in the water sector.
In doing so, they should also train their own staff or local staff to put these anti-corruption policies into practice, put in place adequate monitoring mechanisms and enforce sanctions against corrupt employees and contractors.
This was contained in findings of a Ghana Water Supply Integrity study undertaken by GII and its partners and presented at a one-day workshop organized for the region’s players in the water sector at Wa.
The study was carried out under Transparency and Integrity in Service Delivery in Africa (TISDA) project which was launched in the country in 2009 with support from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through Transparency International and will end in December.
It seeks to achieve greater integrity, transparency and accountability in the provision of basic services through research and advocacy.
The organization called for the need to create anti-corruption awareness and system within public organizations so that they could cooperate with civil society effectively to ensure that corruption could be prevented from occurring or dealt with adequately when it occurred.
Mr. George Amoh, Project Coordinator at the Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre of GII who presented the findings, said lack of transparency and integrity promoted corruption which posed a threat and had devastating consequences on poverty reduction and service.
He mentioned illegal connections, metre tampering, illegal payments to metre readers, under reporting of daily sales by vendors and illegal charges and over-invoicing of materials for new connections as some of the petty corrupt practices prevalent in the water sector.
Mr. Amoh said Ghana would need an investment of $505 million to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for rural water supply by 2015 while donors pledged $175 million from 2008-2012 leaving a gap of $330 million.
Mr. Martin Dery, a Director of PRONET, an NGO in the water sector which is the local partner of GII in the region, said the 94.8 per cent water coverage for the Upper West Region that was being touted in several quarters was debatable.
He said he believed that a coverage of about 70 per cent for the region would be a fair assessment since most communities had to trek long distances to water points for their supply.