A project aimed at strengthening systems and mechanisms to promote sustainable delivery and access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region has been launched in Bolgatanga.
The two-year project, dubbed: “System Strengthening for Sustainable WASH Services (3SWASH)”, to be piloted in the district, is to address sector-wide challenges that prevented inclusive and sustainable delivery of WASH services/ infrastructure at all levels.
It is being implemented by the WaterAid Ghana, water and sanitation focused organisation with financial support from Hemsley Charitable Trust, a United States non-profit organisation.
At the inception meeting, Mr Jesse Danku, the Head of Programmes, WaterAid Ghana, explained that, over the years, due to system breakdown at the regional, district and community levels, WASH infrastructure provided by government and development partners did not last to achieve their intended target.
He said research had shown that most WASH facilities such as toilets, boreholes, and hand-washing machines installed in schools, healthcare facilities and communities often breakdown within three to four years due to lack of established arrangements for sustenance.
Mr Coffie said the project would be implemented in about 30 communities in the district to benefit about 11,568 people directly and 32,548 indirectly.
It would empower community water and sanitation teams and advocacy groups with skills and resources to manage, operate and sustain the WASH systems in their respective areas.
Alhaji Ibrahim Habila, the Deputy Director, Upper East Regional Coordinating Council, explained that achieving WASH coverage was key to transforming the economy and attaining the SDGs.
“Indeed, it is estimated by the World Bank that Ghana loses US$290 million annually due to poor sanitation. The amount, the bank said, represents the cost of clearing huge refuse within cities and that of healthcare spending on related disease outbreaks,” he said.
Mr Mustapha Adam, the Bongo District Coordinating Director, reiterated the commitment of the district in supporting the project’s implementation to make it a model for other districts across the country, to address WASH challenges. -GNA