George Asiedu, Project Coordinator of GAMA Sanitation and Water Project, speaking at the workshop. Picture: CALEB VANDERPUYE
George Asiedu, Project Coordinator of GAMA Sanitation and Water Project, speaking at the workshop. Picture: CALEB VANDERPUYE

GAMA project raises GH¢47 million from household toilets construction

The Greater Accra Metropolitan Area Water and Sanitation Project (GAMA-SWP) has mobilised GH¢47 million from counterpart contributions from beneficiaries in the provision of household toilets since the project was rolled out in 2015 till date.

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The amount was realised from 65,272 household toilets provided in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area (GKMA). A breakdown of the figure showed that 43,608 of the toilets were constructed within GAMA while the remaining 21,664 were in the GKMA.

Within the period, the household toilets reached 456,904 beneficiaries who now have access to improved facilities. This came to light when a delegation of technocrats from the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) embarked on a two-day learning visit to the GAMA-SWP last Wednesday to understudy the programme.

The 14-member delegation from STMA was led by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Abdul-Mumin Issah.

Good move

The Coordinator of the GAMA-SWP, George Asiedu, described the decision to understudy the GAMA-SWP as a great move because it would ensure that the country sustained the effort to achieve SDG Six.

He said GAMA-SWP was willing to share its knowledge with STMA and other MMDAs outside the project scope. The GAMA-SWP coordinator observed that with the SDGs deadline almost at hand, it was important to accelerate action towards SDG Six by constructing more toilets and providing sanitation and water services.

"It is the source of our livelihood so if we neglect WASH sector, our development spine will break," he said. 

The gains

Apart from the over 65,000 household toilets constructed under the GAMA-SWP, the project has also constructed 596 modern school toilets, rehabilitated and expanded the sewerage facilities in Ashaiman and Tema and executed some drainage projects in the Greater Accra Region.

Again, the project extended pipe water to more than 16,000 households, benefitting 500,000 low-income communities. Mr Asiedu added that the GAMA-SWP had also helped to mainstream WASH reportage in the media through training and capacity building programmes.

He added that apart from constructing thousands of household toilets, the project had also improved attitudinal change towards good sanitation among the beneficiary MMDAs.

He said the access to household toilets had contributed significantly to the reduction of open defecation in the Greater Accra Region.
 

Sustainability

The GAMA-SWP coordinator said the government, with support from the World Bank and development partners, was focused on rolling out a sustainable WASH programme to help achieve SDG Six.

He said it was in that regard that the Ghana WASH Sector Development Programme, which was launched in 2023, targeted at providing household toilets and sanitation facilities across the country.

Mr Asiedu said the programme was anchored on the success story of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area Water and Sanitation Project (GAMA-SWP), which has been implemented in Greater Accra Region.

Readiness to learn

The STMA MCE said the decision to understudy the GAMA-SWP was part of the assembly's agenda to accelerate access to toilet facilities and improve sanitation. He said the assembly had constructed in excess of 500 toilet facilities through its internally generated funds and wanted to consolidate the gains by imbibing the GAMA-SWP model.

The GAMA-SWP is a US$150-million World Bank grant initiative which started in August, 2014 to support the government's efforts to increase access to improved sanitation and water supply in the GAMA, with emphasis on low-income communities and to strengthen management of environmental sanitation.

Background

The project has four components — the provision of environmental sanitation and water supply services to priority low-income areas of the GAMA; improvement and expansion of the water distribution network in the GAMA; planning, improvement, and expansion of GAMA-wide environmental sanitation services; and the institutional strengthening of municipal, metropolitan and national institutions.

Under the GAMA-SWP, residents of the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) within GAMA were given the opportunity to acquire a household toilet at 50 per cent subsidy.

 Hence, with as low as GH¢1,100 the beneficiary got the full package of a toilet room, seat, hand wash basin, a biofil digester and a discharge unit (soak-away). For those who already had their rooms, they got the other items at GH¢600.

The GAMA-SWP team rolled out a flexible payment system, making it possible for potential beneficiaries to pay for the toilets in instalments using mobile money platforms. This additional financing was meant to support Ghana’s effort to reach 550,000 people in low income urban communities of GAMA and the GKMA with improved sanitation and water supply services.

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