Parliament has approved a $125 million facility for the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area Sanitation and Water Project (GSWP).
The financing agreement between the government and the International Development Association (IDA), is expected to provide access to improved sanitation to about 252,000 residents of Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) and Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area (GKMA).
The facility would be used for the construction of 42,000 household toilets – 30,000 in GKMA and 12,000 in GAMA – and each eligible household will be provided with 70 per cent support up to a maximum of US$600 to make the capital costs of the toilets affordable to them.
To be completed within four years after commencement, the project would help improve and expand waste water and faecal sludge collection, transportation and treatment.
Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, moving the motion for the adoption and approval of the Committee’s report said the project was consistent with the Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (CPESDP) 2017 -2024.
The project, according to Dr Assibey-Yeboah, MP, New Juaben South, was in line with government’s objective of improving access to water and sanitation services for all Ghanaians.
This, he said, would be done through improved water production and distribution and scaling up investments in the sanitation sector.
With an objective to establish a national sanitation fund and implement the ‘Toilet for All’ and ‘Water for All’ programmes under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), Dr Assibey-Yeboah said this would speed up Ghana’s attainment of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development (SDG) goal six.
Achievements of the original project as of July 2020, he said, included the provision of over 27,000 household toilets exceeding the target of 19,100, benefiting about 218,000 people and the provision of water supply to low-income communities.
“The project laid about 281 km of water pipelines, 10,200 new connections and 114 standpipes providing access to water supply to 367,000 people in low-income urban communities exceeding the targeted 250,000 people and inclusive and gender conscious school sanitation facilities.
“It also implemented disability friendly school toilets with separate blocks for boys and girls, 386 of the targeted 406 units were completed and handed over,” he said.
Despite the above, Dr Assibey-Yeboah said about 8,000 households who registered for toilets, 7,500 applicants for water supply services and 150 targeted schools could not be served due to budgetary constraints on the parent project.
“It is in this respect that the government is securing this additional funding to extend and expand the project to ensure that the outstanding beneficiaries are served,” he told the House and urged its approval.
The House, meanwhile, approved a request for waiver of taxes amounting to €10, 872,228.10 on materials, equipment and services to be procured for the construction of five Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Centres of Excellence.
A second request by government for waivers of Import Duties, Import VAT, GETFund levy, NHIL, EXIM Levy and Special Import Levy amounting to the Ghana Cedi equivalent of US$1,838,792 for China Gansu International Corporation for Economic and Technical Cooperation and China Railway Major Bridge, was also approved.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI