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10.05.2008 General News

Stakeholders In Water Sector Share Experience

By Kwadwo B. Donkor - newtimesonline.com

THE Chief Executive Officer of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), Dr Phillip Gyau-Boakye, has called for knowledge and experience sharing among project implementing agencies to avoid duplication and committing of the same mistakes.

He said sharing of experiences gained from project managements between stakeholders would help organisations to avoid mistakes of the past.

Gyau-Boakye made the call at a workshop to review the operations and management of the Eastern and Volta Regions Assistance Project (EVORAP), which winds up its activities in June, this year after 10 years of operations.

EVORAP is a project designed to assist the CWSA to implement Small Towns Water Supply Systems in selected small towns in the Eastern and Volta regions.

Dr Gyau-Boakye described as unfortunate, the attitude of some project managers who are reluctant to share their knowledge and experiences.

He noted that with constant interactions among stakeholders on sharing of experiences, the country would avoid most of the mistakes that have been encountered in previous projects and maximise the use of its resources and time.

He was hopeful that EVORAP’s experience would enrich the knowledge and data in the water and sanitation section and guide the implementation of future projects.

Although the programme officially ends in June this year, he is hopeful that the German government, who are sponsors of the project, will extend it.

The workshop was to contribute to knowledge management in the sector and to help in the sustainable management of the small towns water supply systems in Ghana.

It was also to review the design of EVORAP and its achievements, to share the best practices obtained from the implementation of the project, particularly in the management of small towns and water supply systems and their implication for the sector’s development.

It was attended by regional directors of the CWSA, representatives of the Ministries of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment; and Water Resources, Works and Housing.

There were also representatives from the German Technical Cooperation-GTZ, sponsors of the project and the district assemblies.

Ms Felicia Afful, the National Project Leader of EVORAP, identified the inability of some communities and district assemblies to provide the 10 per cent counterpart funding as the main challenges.

She said even though the guidelines of the CWSA clearly stipulate that no community should be denied water due to lack of funds, she said there had been instances when the handing over of projects were delayed for close to six months 'because either the community or the assembly failed to pay on time'.

She, therefore, called for a review of the counterpart funding from the communities as some of them are just too small to raise the appropriate funds.

According to Ms Afful counterpart funding could be as high as GH¢18,000 in some instances.

On lessons gained from the 10years of implementing the EVORAP, she said, the establishment of Water and Sanitation Development Boards (WSDBs) are some of the best practices.

'Even though some of them have problems, a lot of them are doing very good jobs,' she said.

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