The Fourth Ghana Water Forum ended at La Palm Beach Hotel, Accra this Thursday, with the Ghanaian Government setting 2025 as the new target year to ensure delivery of sustainable and safe water supply for all.
Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Hon. Alhaji Collins Dauda told the meeting that the 2015 target of achieving the Millennium Development Goals target for water supply is no more realistic; and asked sector players “to look beyond the MDG target of 2015 and see how resources can be mobilized to achieve water for all in Ghana by 2025″
The forum was organised by the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing under the theme: “Monitoring and Evaluation: Key to Sustaining and Up–scaling of Wash Services” and was attended by representatives of government institutions, as well as the private sector, NGOs, Development Partners, Academia, and international organisations who are into water and sanitation.
Key resolutions of the forum include the following:
- Monitoring and Evaluation are critical for ensuring sustainability of facilities and services. Most of the sector agencies reported that expected funds which they budgeted for undertaking investments and operations, including monitoring and evaluation for the year has not been released. Government should provide the required funds to water sector agencies to ensure effective implementation of planned activities including effective monitoring and evaluation
- Government, through the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing- MWRWH should harmonize water coverage data between the urban and rural sub-sectors to ensure the country has a clear idea of the un-served population to improve planning and appropriate targeting of WASH interventions.
- Government should expedite cabinet approval of the water sector strategic development plan to provide a unified vision for the sector.
- Government should expedite the mainstreaming of the functions of the Water Directorate into the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing to enable many of the critical sector coordinating and strategic direction functions, as well as many of the recommendations of this forum, to be implemented
- A framework for service monitoring is being developed for the rural sub sector which tracks functionality and sustainability of water systems. Government, through CWSA, should ensure that this framework is integrated into the existing monitoring and evaluation framework for the rural sector and rolled out nationally.
- Government should as a matter of urgency prioritise the acquisition of the requisite infrastructure and provision of the required capacity building support to District Assemblies for the continuous collection of relevant data for monitoring, evaluation and decision making.
- Efforts have been made over the years to harmonise sector definitions. Government should ensure that internationally accepted definitions are adopted and used by all sector and allied agencies and organisations.
- Government, through the MWRWH and the sector agencies should ensure effective coordination and collaboration of all organisations and projects in the WASH sector. Interventions at the local level should be based on district WASH plans. This would help avoid the duplication of efforts in the provision of facilities and services, as well as ensuring judicious use of resources.
- Government should accelerate the implementation of the road map on the urban water sector reforms. The concept of performance monitoring is critical in ensuring an improvement in the delivery of water supply services in the urban sub-sector. All performance contracts should have clearly defined targets and signatories should be given the required institutional and financial autonomy to enable them meet these targets.
- GWCL should deploy innovative mechanisms to ensure that Non-Revenue Water is reduced to acceptable levels in accordance with targets set for the company by PURC, to ensure consumers pay realistic tariffs, in order not to subsidise inefficiencies.
- GWCL should recruit personnel with expertise in sociology and community development to improve its engagement with consumers, especially those living in low-income urban areas.
- Water Resources Commission should intensify efforts to effectively monitor and protect water resources of the country to ensure sustainable harnessing and utilisation.
- Rain water harvesting has been recognised as an important resource to augment other water supply sources. To promote rainwater harvesting, the Water Resources Commission should ensure that the national Building Code incorporates the installation of rainwater harvest systems on buildings in the country.
- Improving access to basic sanitation was recognised as being a major challenge for achieving the expected impact of WASH programmes. Government should provide the required financial resources for 2014 in line with its commitments under the Sanitation and Water for All Compact and MDG Acceleration Framework for Sanitation in order to accelerate coverage in access to basic sanitation.
- A standard reporting format incorporating a set of agreed core indicators, modelled along the format developed by the NDPC should be circulated to all sector Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as Metropolitan/Municipal and District Assemblies for WASH reporting. The PPBME of MWRWH should ensure that all sector institutions adopt this format in the preparation and submission of appropriate reports to PPBME.
- The conference concluded that monitoring and evaluation of water, sanitation and hygiene services are critical to ensure facilities provided are improved and remain functional at all times. Local Government authorities should be strengthened and the necessary financial, human and logistical resources made available for them to undertake their monitoring and evaluation roles effectively. Existing WASH laws including the provision of sanitation facilities in all buildings should be enforced. All sector stakeholders, institutions, the private sector, civil society, children and the entire citizenry should play their expected roles in managing the water resources of the country and ensure the long-term sustainability of all WASH services and facilities.