The Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) has extended portable water to 23,939 rural communities and small towns throughout the country.
The beneficiary communities and small towns have a total population of 10,499,721. Extension of water to them came in the form of bore holes, hand-dug wells and small community piped schemes.
Whiles 3,224 communities in the Central Region got the highest water coverage the Greater Accra Region received the least with 851 for a population of 424,667.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CWSA, Mr Clement Bugase, made this known while updating the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Mr E.T. Mensah, on the achievements of the agency so far.
This was during a familiarisation visit of the minister to the organisation In Accra Friday to acquaint himself with its operations and challenges. That was the minister’s first visit to an agency under the ministry since his reshuffle from the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare to the current ministry. The visit also took him to the Department of Rural Housing.
At both organisations, Mr Mensah met its management and staff to learn at first hand, their challenges as well as formally introduce himself as the newly appointed sector minister.
The CWSA was established in 1998 by an Act of Parliament as the statutory body mandated to manage the National Community Water and Sanitation Programme (NCWSA).
Its primary objective is to facilitate the provision of safe water and related sanitation services to rural communities and small towns across the country.
Mr Bugase said there was an upward trend in rural water coverage, accounting for an improved sanitation delivery system in the rural communities.
The agency, he explained, had put together 168 District Water and Sanitation Teams to ensure the strict compliance of good hygienic practices adding that the current number of water committees established in the 168 operational districts stood at 2,217.
Touching on some challenges the agency faced, Mr Bugase gave a litany of issues including district level implementation bottlenecks and inadequate funding .
The monitoring of operations and maintenance of existing systems coupled with the non-payment of institutional tariffs were challenges the agency was grappling with, he said.
On the way forward, the CWSA boss underscored the need for the promotion of community-led sanitation, to help address the problem of poor sanitation coverage.
The minister for his part, called for cooperation among management and staff of the agency to enable it to effectively deliver on its mandate. He particularly, tasked the staff to part of the solution.
At the Department of Rural Housing, the Director, Ms Deborah Kuwornu, complained of continued encroachment on the department’s land despite efforts to stop the development. Mr Mensah assured her that a task-force would be set up to ward off the encroachers.
Source: Sebastian Syme/D-Graphic
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