A $53.9 million sanitation and livelihood support project for 11 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) has been launched in Accra.
Dubbed the Greater Accra Sustainable Sanitation and Livelihood Improvement Project (GASSLIP), the initiative will provide about 7,000 toilets to households as part of measures to eradicate open defecation at beneficiary assemblies.
Under the project, refuse bins will also be placed at strategic locations for use by residents.
It is being implemented by the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR) with funding of $48.9 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB), while the Government of Ghana provides the remaining $5 million.
It is estimated that by the time the project is completed in about four and a half years’ time, about 1.9 million poor people within urban and peri-urban Accra will have access to improved sanitation facilities.
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At the launch in Accra yesterday, both the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, and the Country Manager of AfDB, Dr Yero H.J Baldeh, committed themselves to oversee the successful implementation of the project.
Present were the Deputy Minister of MSWR, Mr Michael Gyato, officials from the Ministry of Finance, representatives of MMDAs, as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector.
Ms Dapaah entreated the AfDB to consider expanding the project to cover the nine new MMDAs in the GAMA area to ensure that no community was left out in the search for improved sanitation.
“In addition, I want to advocate a replication of this vital project in major cities in the country such as Kumasi, Tamale, Sekondi, Takoradi, Cape Coast and other regional capitals to help address the sanitation challenges in those areas as well,” she said.
The minister gave an assurance that the MSWR would take keen interest in the project by playing its supervisory role well to ensure that the implementation team worked according to the guiding principles agreed upon by all parties.
For his part, Dr Baldeh called for transparency in the implementation of the project to ensure value for money.
He said the AfDB would continue to support Ghana in major development areas such as health, transport and agriculture.
The Project Coordinator for GASSLIP, Mr Stephen Ackon, said strict systems had been put in place to guarantee accountability in the use of resources on the project.
He stated that his outfit would collaborate with the beneficiary MMDAs to get eligible contractors to carry out some of the household toilet projects, after which flexible payment systems could be arranged with the landlords for repayment.