The Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) has said it was committed to achieving its mandate of providing safe and potable drinking water to all underserved communities in the country.
To this end, it will continue to partner stakeholders to deliver the planned medium- term programmes and projects.
Taking its turn at the bi-weekly Ministers’ Briefing organised by the Ministry of Information in Accra on Sunday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the agency, Dr Warlanyo Kwadjo Siabe, said water infrastructure available to rural communities and small towns stood at 29,785 boreholes fitted with hand pumps, 546 small towns pipe water systems and 1215 limited mechanised water systems.
He said the CWSA initiated a number of policy reforms in the rural and small town water, sanitation and hygiene sub-sector to redefine its role with other partners to sustain WASH provision.
He explained that water systems completed by CSWA using Government of Ghana (GoG) funds were previously handed over to the communities to manage and the involvement of the communities was expected to create a sense of ownership and sustainability.
However, Dr Siabe said community management became associated with frequent breakdown and long downtime of water systems, high non-revenue and unaccounted for water of about 50 per cent and huge electricity bills on community managed water systems of about GH¢40 million.
Apart from this, he said about 30 per cent of groundwater was challenged with high levels of iron, manganese, fluoride, arsenic and hardness.
In addition to this, he said surface water sources had also deteriorated as a result of unapproved human activities in most river basins.
Despite these, he said a lot of progress had been made in the sub-sector with CWSA currently managing 177 pipes systems in 150 districts in all 16 regions.
Dr Siabe said the agency had implemented 125 rehabilitation activities on their water systems before the deployment of technical staff to manage the facilities.
Touching on their project achievements, he said a total of 28 Small town pipe water systems had been completed in 11 regions, 243 boreholes drilled and fitted with handpumps in the Upper West Region.
Also, he said five distinct water supply projects, phase three which commenced in 2020, have been completed and handed over.
“Phase four will involve the construction of water supply infrastructure for North Tongu and Ho West Districts and remedial expansion to cover Central Tongu, Adaklu and Agortime Ziope Districts in the Volta Region,” he emphasised.
The CEO also bemoaned the quality of water in the country.
He noted that about 95 per cent of water sources in the country were obtained from groundwater, stressing that “All the data that we have suggests that about 30 per cent of the groundwater that have high levels of iron, manganese, fluoride, arsenic and hardness have health challenges”.
In addition, he noted that surface water sources had also deteriorated due to human activities in most river basins in the country.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL