Assist In The Provision Of Safe, Clean Water - ET Tells Corporate Institutions
5/9/2012 11:04:56 PM -
E. T. Mensah Corporate institutions have been encouraged to assist in the provision of potable and safe water to underprivileged persons in the rural communities.
Mr Enoch Teye Mensah, the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, made the call at the first anniversary of the launch of the Coca-Cola System and Diageo plc (Guinness) International Initiative to bring water to up to two million West Africans by the end of 2013.
The initiative, which aims at providing 500,000 Ghanaians in 50 communities with safe and clean drinking water by the end of 2013, also coincided with the World Water Day.
Currently, the partnership is only between these two institutions and the International Finance Corporation and Waterhealth International.
Mr Mensah therefore called on Corporate Ghana to join in this initiative so as to expand the generous contributions of these institutions to reach the programmed five million Africans across the continent by 2015.
“In this way, you would all have demonstrated your clear support to the countries of Africa to achieve UN Millennium Development
Goal to reduce by 50 per cent the proportion of our continent’s population who are without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015,” the minister stated.
The partnership of these institutions is to build over 200 Waterhealth Centres in Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone with a grant of US$10million. In addition the partners will seek to raise an additional US$10million in equity and loans to supplement the grant.
To date the Coca-Cola System, Diageo, the Diageo Foundation and Guinness Ghana Brewery Ltd have contributed US$2.5million and US$2.0million in grant at various times towards this project.
Since the launch of the partnership clean drinking water has been brought to the people of Pakro and Adeiso, both farming communities in the Eastern Region, and Nsuta in the Ashanti Region.
Work has also begun at an additional Coca-Cola site at Dominase in the Ashanti Region, a second site in Ashaiman in the Greater Accra Region, a project in Mampong in the Eastern Region, two sites in Volu and Ziope in the Volta Region and two other centres in Makango and Kpembe in the Northern Region.
Based on the current funding level, 12 communities in the country will benefit from the partnership and by the end of 2012 about 25 communities in Nigeria and six in Liberia will also have access to safe clean drinking water from a Waterhealth facility.
By 2015, the partnership will be expanded to reach up to five million beneficiaries across six countries and 500 communities in Africa.
One year on, the partnership is appealing to others in the corporate world who work and live in the sub-region to join in contributing towards the provision of safe and clean drinking water for deprived communities in the region.
Two opinion leaders of the beneficiary communities, Nana Lokko of Pakro and Hajara Mahmoud of Zeenu, said before the Waterhealth Centres, members of the communities drank from the Densu River and other nearby streams with all its attendant health problems.
According to them, the story of their communities had drastically changed and this had gone a long way to positively affect the lives of members of the communities, adding that “safe water has been brought to the their doorstep”.