In support of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR) in meeting the Government of Ghana’s ‘Water for All’ policy, Aqua Africa and the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) conducted an in-depth training and orientation program to ensure the agreed 150 rural communities were aware, involved and informed prior to the arrival on the implementation teams later this month. The community engagement training was the first of its kind to be coordinated in conjunction with CWSA and Aqua Africa
The 5-day workshop, arranged by the Aqua Africa Community Engagement team in partnership with the regional Extension Service Specialist (ESS) from CWSA, with the aim to equip the participants with the necessary skill set to guide key stakeholders within the community on the benefits of the Rural Communities and Small Town Water Supply Project (RCSTWSP) which is to be delivered across 5 of the regions in Ghana.
Each of the 13 participants was taken through the community engagement strategy, detailing the composition of the diverse communities they would be visiting to ensure that key stakeholders within the community were fully informed on the work plans that are due to take place later this year.
The Government of Ghana’s vision for the water sector, as enshrined in the Water Sector Strategic Development Plan (WSSDP.), is for ‘all people living in Ghana have access to adequate, safe, affordable, reliable and sustainable water services, and practice safe sanitation and hygiene’. To maintain this, the training also included a visit to a local community within the Eastern Region to allow for hands-on practice, meeting with community chiefs and members.
Rita Ambadire, Community Relations Manager at Aqua Africa, says: “It was a great occasion for both teams to bond and provided an opportunity for all regional community engagement teams to carry the same message. CWSA and AA expressed their assurance to work harmoniously together to effectively engage and mobilize the project communities for successful project implementation in the five regions.”
The project value of €30 million euros was a 100% structured financed project through by UK Export Finance & HSBC. Aqua Africa was accredited as the Green Loan water project by UKEF & HSBC providing nano-filtration systems to 150 communities with water quality challenges. The full project will deliver a sustainable project that will alleviate 280,000 people from the plight of daily water poverty.
By providing clean drinking water, contributing to 7 of 9 sub-goals under the UN Sustainable Development Goal for Water & Sanitation (SDG 6), Aqua Africa is supporting the Government of Ghana by improving water quality & efficiency as well as by adapting the water collection process, impacting the advancement of further SDGs 1, 3, 5, 8 & 9.
The climate-smart solution of installing off-grid solar-panelled systems will apply innovative technology and financing methods that will give access to water in communities with revenue secured through a digitalised ‘pay as you fetch‘ approach. A percentage of revenue will be allocated for Operations and Maintenance (O&M) to secure community management through maintenance and any future expansion of the water systems.