Ghana is on track towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for water, however progress towards the achievement of the target for sanitation remains behind.
According to Mr Clement Bugase, Chief Executive Officer of Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), despite the meaningful gains in the water sector, challenges still remained in making sure that newly provided water infrastructure in communities continued to provide sustainable services well into the future.
He observed that the Sustainable Services at Scale (Triple-S), which was introduced by the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing in 2009, in collaboration with CWSA and the International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC) of Netherlands, had helped scale up progress in the nation’s water sector.
Mr Bugase said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra on the sidelines of a WASH Sustainable Forum organised by the Ministry in collaboration with the IRC and CWSA for stakeholders.
“The whole aim and goal of the Triple-S project is to bring about a change in the approach of delivering water and sanitation services in the sector so that we imbibe into the sector, planning process, delivery process, a service delivery approach where we plan and budget for the facility, its operation and maintenance,” he said.
Mr Bugase said: “For you to be able to operate and maintain, you must monitor; so we will put in place a modern, easily usable monitoring systems to be able to monitor both the functionality of the facility and the service level at which the facility is functioning. So those were the broad goals of the project.”
He said CWSA, in collaboration with all the development partners and other civil society organisations, had adopted a service delivery approach; such that when they want to provide water or sanitation facility, they would think of the service it would deliver and not just the facility itself.
“There is a lot of training going on, a lot of reorientation of ourselves at the district assemblies, who are the operators of the systems and our donors, to enable us to plan a better system.
“We’ll also take into consideration the operational, the maintenance and replacement costs so that we are conscious of it to ensure that the system is sustainable so that we provide sustainable services and skill,” he said.
He said despite the closure of the Triple-S project, the lessons that had been learnt would be scaled up for the benefit of Ghanaians.
He said the project was now covering seven regions and that they were looking for funding, precisely $586,000 to include the last three: Volta, Eastern and Ashanti, so that they would cover the whole country.
“We are not going to relent. We are going to make sure that every region is using this approach so that water facilities that were even provided in the past will continue to function,” Mr Bugase said.
He commended IRC for helping to facilitate the provision of safe drinking water and related sanitation services to rural communities and small towns in the country.