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General News of Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Source: Peace FM

Government activates process to establish a National Sanitation Authority Fund

The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah has disclosed that Government has activated the process to establish a National Sanitation Authority together with a National Sanitation Fund. The Authority, when established according to the minister, will help improve the monitoring of the various sanitation projects and mobilise increased funding for sanitation services in the country.

Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah made the disclosure at the weekly Meet the Press at the Ministry of Information today. She said, “The establishment of the Authority and the Fund will give our efforts significant focus, attract the requisite human capacity and mobilize resources for improved sanitation services delivery in Ghana.”

She further added that, in a bid to ensure the constant supply of Environmental Sanitation Officers, the 3 schools of hygiene for the first time in many years have seen major infrastructure development. She said in Accra and Ho, a new 2-storey, 9-classroom block each, is being provided while Tamale is benefiting from a rehabilitation of an existing hostel facility.

“Additionally, the Ministry has obtained financial clearance from the Ministry of Finance to engage the remaining 1,174 graduates from the three Schools of Hygiene. These are graduates from 2010 to 2019 and in collaboration with Office of the Head of the Local Government Service, they are going through the necessary recruitment processes.”

On Policy reforms, the Minister said in 2017, a policy reform was initiated in the Community Water and Sanitation sub-sector to expand the mandate of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA). She said the reform sought to change the management of Piped Water Systems from Community Own Management concept to Professionalised Management with focus on the application of technology and innovation to ensure sustainability, efficiency and effectiveness of the Water Supply infrastructure which have been provided at high cost to the State.

“To this end, Government has spent a total of GHC60million to rehabilitate and expand 151 Small Town Piped Water Systems across the country. Some of the systems that have been rehabilitated are in Vakpo, Taviefe, Akatsi in the Volta region, Mim in the Bono region, Manso Nkwanta, Manso Atwedie Juaben and Seniagya in the Ashanti region. Most of these Systems were in a state of disrepair at the time the CWSA took over.”

The Minister added that as part of measures to introduce new skills to support the introduction of Innovation and Technology in Water Systems Management, 1,087 professionals (Engineers, Water Safety Specialist, Accountants) and 409 auxiliary staff (Plumbers, Technical operators) have been employed.

“An additional 250 jobs are expected to be created by the close of the year. In addition, GHc3.3million out of GHc5million outstanding electricity bills incurred by the Water and Sanitation Management Teams have been paid resulting in the restoration of power to the water supply infrastructure in the communities.”