Parliament has approved government’s request for a financing agreement with the International Development Association (IDA) for an amount of US$ 125 million as additional financing for the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area Sanitation and and Water Project (GSWP).
The purpose of the funding is to continue with the implementation of earlier interventions in the sanitation sector including the US$150 million GAMA Sanitation and Water Project which was funded by the World Bank Group and expected to end in December, 2020.
“Despite the significant progress, about 8000 households which 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 government is securing this additional funding to extend and expand the project to ensure that the outstanding beneficiaries are served,” the Finance Committee’s report said.
Under the continuing project, for which additional funding is being secured, the major interventions to be provided include household toilets and school sanitation facilities, improvement and expansion of wastewater and faecal sludge collection, transportation and treatment; and institutional strengthening.
In addition, the project will improve and expand the water distribution network in GAMA and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area (GKMA) and provide piped water to about 300,000 people living in low income communities. Also, about 120km of pipeline is expected to be laid and 10,000 new household to be connected to the water system.
According to the report, the proposed interventions align with government’s objective of improving access to water and sanitation services for all through improved water production and distribution, scaling up investments in the sanitation sector, establishing a National Sanitation Fund, and implementing the “Toilet for All” and “Water for All” programmes under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), among others.
Factors that necessitated such huge investments in the sanitation sector, according to the report, is due to the country’s economic growth which is largely driven by a competitive business environment, fast growing private sector, among others.
“The growth has been accompanied by rapid urbanisation with associated challenges such as the emergence of slums. These developments are occurring at a rate that outpaces the capacity of central and local governments to provide basic services such as adequate water and sanitation,” the report further stated.
Commenting on the subject, Minister for Communication, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful expressed her support for government’s decision to extend the project to enable people, particularly in her constituency who were not able to benefit from the previous GAMA project to be covered.