The State of Water and Sanitation within the Urban Areas in Ghana
In the last three decades, it’s estimated that Ghana’s urban population has tripled and about 54% lives in urban areas. This urbanization is driven mainly by population growth and most importantly rural communities evolving into small towns or peri-urban communities.
Mr. Frank Romeo Kettey, the Country Program Manager for Water & Sanitation for Urban Poor, sheds light on the impact of this statistics on access to potable water and sanitation for the poorest residents. According to him, “This explosion in urban population brings pressure on the already struggling or constrained water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure. So, that is where Water & Sanitation for Urban Poor (WSUP) saw the need to be involved as an organization in tackling Urban WASH. This is because in most cases, we tend to highlight rural poverty, leaving urban poverty in the background. But you need to consider the extent of urban poverty and the need to address social challenges that are endemic in these urban areas. That is why we at WSUP have decided to have a direct focus on supporting and empowering service providers to be able to provide water, sanitation and hygiene services [to the urban poor].”
Dwelling on his personal experience in WASH activities, Mr. Kettey sees “a growing interest and commitment from Government and development partners to urban sanitation services”. He stresses that he has personally been in WASH for a period spanning seven years working with WSUP to be able to support municipalities, utilities and the private sector with whom they collaborate to improve WASH services. “From my experience, working with multiple stakeholders at the community, municipal and national levels on overall projects and programs has helped to improve WASH systems and practices, I have had the opportunity of working with stakeholders either at the policy or regulatory point and at the programmatic level with municipalities or districts assemblies that we work with on these projects. More importantly, within that space, what I have seen is a growing interest and commitment from government and development partners to urban sanitation services.”
… we are not going at the pace or speed of implementation needed to really ensure comprehensive access to WASH services, particularly for the poorest urban dwellers.
Mr. Kettey says that his personal observation is that, notwithstanding the increased focus from government, development partners and non-governmental organizations as well as the private sector, we are not going at the pace or speed of implementation needed to really ensure comprehensive access to WASH services, particularly for the poorest urban dwellers. “Whilst there are a lot of programmatic activities at the community and national level, there still remain significant institutional gap i.e. the institutional capacity to really push forward the urban WASH agenda.” Continue Here