Amidu Issahaku Chinnia, Deputy Minister of Sanitation, Works and Housing, delivering his address at the forum. Picture: ERNEST KODZI
Amidu Issahaku Chinnia, Deputy Minister of Sanitation, Works and Housing, delivering his address at the forum. Picture: ERNEST KODZI

Water Ministry pledges to provide affordable water to public

The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources has said it will continue to leverage the potential of public-private partnership to find more innovative ways of delivering safe, reliable and affordable water to everyone. 

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It said in the water for all agenda, fiscal constraints and the absence of a robust institution to coordinate the varied service landscape which featured a mix of providers and delivery models had been some identified challenges.

The Deputy Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Amidu Issahaku Chinnia, was speaking at the 2024 national water summit dubbed “Beyond the pipe forum” in Accra yesterday.

The summit was organised by an international non-governmental organisation and a key player in the country’s water sector, Safe Water Network.

The forum was on the theme: “Safe Water: The Power of Enterprises”.

It brought together more than 200 leaders from the public sector, academia, private sector and development partners, among other stakeholders, to dialogue on how to increase and boost safe water enterprises to deliver water services for an estimated 3.2 million people in more than 1,000 peri urban communities and small towns in Ghana by 2030.

Human rights

Mr Chinnia said regardless, ensuring access to safe water to all, particularly in rural and peri-urban areas was a governmental priority, especially because access not just to water but safe water was a basic human right.

“We are undertaking several rural and urban water projects across many regions.

Recognising the importance of not only infrastructure but also conducive policy and regulatory environments, the government is tackling the challenges posed by rapid urbanisation which exacerbates the demand for water services, including peri-urban and rural areas,” he said.

Mr Chinnia said the country was also faced with the task of managing its water resources to satisfy the growing needs of our population—a challenge for both the present and future.

“Our partnership with Safe Water Network has yielded valuable insights from their field experiences, overcoming the operational, technical and financial challenges by designing cost-effective stations, and providing the training and ongoing support to ensure local operators can sustainably deliver safe, reliable and affordable water. 

“Nominal tariffs at these stations ensure not just cost coverage for operations and maintenance but also equitable community access.

“Introduction of mobile money, solar power and water ATMs exemplify innovation and success.

 Their direct-piped connection programme for households, schools, clinics and businesses showcases the full potential of what safe water enterprises can do for communities.

He said the government recognised that when families had convenient access to affordable safe water, usage increased, and health outcomes improved.

Commendation

He commended Safe Water Network for the years of investment in extending water services in peri urban areas and small towns, and advocacy for improved and sustainable water services in Ghana.

“The ministry acknowledges Safe Water Network’s leading role in creating the Safe Water Alliance.

This initiative orchestrates field activities, financial investments and other activities among safe water enterprise implementers and fosters formal interaction with the government and other key water sector players.

The Country Director of Safe Water Network, Mr Nimako, asked stakeholders in the water sector to explore innovative and cutting-edge solutions as part of efforts to deliver improved and sustainable water services, especially in rural and peri urban areas in the country.

He said the country would require urgency to invest funding and other resources in scaling up safe water enterprises which would go a long way in complementing government’s efforts in ensuring Ghanaians had equitable and clean access to water by 2030 in fulfilment of Sustainable Development Goal 6.

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He stressed the importance of scaling up small water enterprises as a way of supplementing the government’s efforts towards achieving sustainable access to water. 

Network

Mr Nimako said the network’s efforts over the past few years had led to a significant improvement in the market for safe water enterprises, disclosing that over $20million had collectively been invested in the water sector, and had since been delivering safe, reliable and affordable water services to over two million people across all 16 regions in Ghana.”

Safe Water Network is currently in about 140 communities in the country across almost all the regions providing water to more than half a million people, and the idea is that this water station should be managed as a business, what we call the small water enterprise-based approach.

Writer’s email: [email protected]

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