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Greater Accra’s $150m sanitation project launched

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waste-1A $150 million Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) sanitation and water project to provide water and sanitation services to urban communities within the catchment area was launched in Accra on Wednesday.

The five-year project being funded by the World Bank through the  International Development Agency (IDA) grant would address acute sanitation and water challenges confronting the urban communities, particularly the low income areas in the 11 Municipalities of the GAMA.

Mr Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, said he was of strong conviction that the project would on completion contribute immensely towards improving the deplorable sanitation and water conditions in the municipality.

He said sanitation was an important driver to the health, economic and social development of any nation, noting that, it was however sad to state that despite the progress Ghana chalked in the other areas of national development, little progress had been made for environmental sanitation.

He noted that less than one-fifth of the population had access to improved sanitation and about 20 per cent of the population practiced open defecation and stressed the need to take urgent action to stop it.

Mr Oppong-Fosu announced that the Ministry had adopted the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Programme as the National Strategy for dealing with the low sanitation coverage in the rural communities.

He said the programme was currently being rolled out in seven Regions and the Ministry had planned to reach out to all the 10 regions very soon.

The Minister noted that the Strategic Environmental Sanitation Investment Plan (SESSIP), which was currently in Parliament for ratification, after it was approved by Cabinet in 2012, would raise the required investment for the needed infrastructure and services to be provided for effective improved sanitation service delivery.

“I am happy to inform you that a number of sanitation and water related projects and programmes are being implemented or due for implementation in the country, especially in the GAMA, this time round with emphasis on sanitation.

“These include the project we are launching today, the Accra Sewerage Improvement Project, the Accra Sewer and Storm Drainage Alleviation Programme and the Ghana Netherlands WASH Programme, all in GAMA,” he said.

Mr Vicent Oppong Asamoah, a Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing said the office was glad that a component in the project would deal with access to safe water in the areas and pledged his ministry’s commitment and support to make the project succeed.

He said even though Ghana had made tremendous improvement in the area of access to safe water, ‘we are still far from achieving our ultimate objective of water for all. Therefore, any effort to further improve on our situation is always accepted’.

Source: GNA

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