The Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS), an umbrella civil society organization established to contribute to water resource management, has called on government to put the instituted Sanitation and Pollution Levy (SPL) to effective use by creating a revolving fund to aid in water and waste management in deprived communities.
According to the coalition of CSOs, key players in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) space are still struggling to secure funding for their projects as interest rates on loans are still overwhelming, and collaterals are not forthcoming hence the need for government to create a revolving fund out of the SPL at interest free rate to cater for the precarious sanitation situation in the country.
“The SPL can be put to good use and one thing that comes to mind is whether we can create a revolving fund out of that instrument which will be implemented nationally for every district to benefit. We believe in the capacity of this fund to achieve its intended purpose of creating a safe and clean environment for all and we are willing to support government to find innovative ways of making it work.
The introduction of this pollution and sanitation levy is putting a lot of burden on ordinary Ghanaians and we do not want it to become like just any other fund which eventually did not achieve nothing much to write home about,” Chairman of CONIWAS, Attah Arhin, has said.
CONIWAS believes that when this revolving fund is created, not only will waste service providers and borehole providers get funding support but even when a household needs funds to construct a place of convenience, they can go to the district assembly and assess that fund at zero interest rate and be able to pay back for reuse to take Ghana out of its current precarious sanitation situation.
Mr. Arhin made these remarks in his address at the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation WASH financing forum, to assess the successes chalked by the project in its five years of existence as well as progress and opportunities for scale.
SNV WASH Project Manager, Theresa Swanzy Baffoe, speaking on the theme ‘Catalysing WASH: from Possible to Profitable (P2P)’, indicated that the P2P project deployed €4million revolving fund to improve access to finance for households, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) for investment in WASH infrastructure and services.
“The project has since inception disbursed over 1000 loans valued at GH¢57 million across the 16 regions, reaching 137,836 people with access to various WASH interventions, products and services. This initial fund we started with has revolved 2.6 times in the five-year period and payback is around 96 percent which is very good for a loan facility.
This P2P project is a collaboration between Fidelity and SNV. One of the lessons we have learnt on this journey is that WASH initiatives demand collaborative efforts to execute. So, the key collaborators must bring in their strength, identify the gabs and strive to address them,” she said.
In addition, she stated that the project provided technical assistance to MSMEs where required to enable them deliver high quality products and services while enhancing their administration and governance, making them attractive to the financial sector for loans to adequately respond to the growing demand for WASH services by households.