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World Bank approves US$125 million for improved water and sanitation services in Greater Kumasi and Accra

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong
Cecilia Dapaah - Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources
Cecilia Dapaah - Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved US$125 million from the International Development Association (IDA), as an additional funding for the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area Sanitation and Water Project (GAMA SWP).

This additional financing will support Ghana’s effort to reach 550,000 people in low income urban communities of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area (GKMA) with improved sanitation and water supply services.

This was made known in a press statement issued by the World Bank, dated Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

“Providing equitable access to safe and improved water supply and sanitation services is essential to improve people’s lives particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this project, we are committed to provide better access to water and sanitation to the most vulnerable, therefore improving lives and reducing poverty,” Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia said.

The additional financing to the GAMA SWP will also help strengthen the management of environmental sanitation services in the GAMA and GKMA.

It will provide water, sanitation and hygiene facilities to schools and healthcare facilities and promote handwashing.

Households benefiting from toilets and/or water connections will benefit from handwashing facilities and relevant handwashing training.

“By promoting the use of safe sanitation and hygiene practices, the existing project has enabled vulnerable communities combat the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. While encouraging results have been achieved so far, more work is needed to address remaining challenges and ensure sustainable universal coverage by 2030,” Yitbarek Tessema, Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist at the World Bank said.

The project will also improve coordination between key agencies and strengthen the capacity and performance of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies by reducing Non-Revenue Water, improving wastewater management, addressing issues of pollution, climate-change and translating development plans into focused actions.

The government of Ghana will replicate the successful GAMA SWP approaches in Kumasi, and further expand services to targeted beneficiaries.

Overall, some of the key results include providing 250,000 people with household toilets; 200,000 people with institutional sanitation facilities; and 500,000 people with improved water services.