Rotary Club International and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have increased their investment in the country's Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector to $4 million for the second phase of the WASH project.
The figure is a 100 per cent increament over that for the first phase, in which the organisations spent $2 million to construct toilets and water and sanitation facilities in some parts of the country between 2009 and 2014.
Under the second phase of the project, which began in 2015 and is expected to end in 2020, about 160 modern toilet facilities are being constructed in public basic and second-cycle schools and clinics in selected districts in the Greater Accra, Eastern, Central, Western, Volta and Northern regions.
As part of the project, the two bodies are also engaging in a wide range of stakeholder engagements, capacity building and advocacy initiatives to promote sanitation, with the focus on ending open defecation in the country.
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In furtherance of the advocacy for a robust WASH sector, a six-member delegation from the Rotary Club paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, to facilitate the establishment of the facilities in the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs).
The delegation, which included Mr Samuel Okudzeto, a former Director of Rotary International, was led by the Chairman of Host Communities, Mr Ako Odotei.
Among other things, the two parties discussed sustainable means of funding WASH in the country, enhancing collaboration between stakeholder ministries such as Health, Education, Finance and Sanitation and Water Resources, as well as partnering with the government to ensure sustainability of the project.
Mr Adda lauded the initiative by the two organisations and said the ministry was ready to collaborate with them to ensure that the WASH sector was improved.
He urged civil society organisations (CSOs) and other investors in the WASH sector to share best practices and experience to help address the water and sanitation challenge in the country.
He said the creation of a separate ministry for the water and sanitation sector and the allocation of more funds in the 2018 budget to the ministry meant that the government was committed to dealing with the challenges in the WASH sector.
For his part, Mr Odotei said effective partnership between the Rotary Club and the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources was key to ensuring that the second phase of the project succeeded.