Accra, April 25, GNA - Water Resources Commission (WRC) has begun a pilot project to test the direct involvement of communities and institutions managing water in selected river basins to help government in its policies towards better water governance.
Mr Mintah A. Aboagye, Director of Water at the Ministry of Works and Housing, said on Monday that the results of the pilot project would help in better resource management practices to improve the quality of fresh water resources and reduce significantly the incidence of malaria, schistosomiasis and other water related diseases.
He was speaking at a two-day workshop to revitalize the Burkina Faso - Ghana Joint Technical Committee on Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM), which would discuss mainly the management of shared water resources of the Volta Basin.
The workshop is organized by the WRC in conjunction with the World Conservation Union and West Africa Water Partnership. Water experts from Ghana and Burkina Faso are attending.
Mr Aboagye said significant challenge facing the governments of Ghana and Burkina Faso was to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of halving the population without sustainable access to drinking water by 2015.
"This could be done through embarking on projects to meet the increasing demands for safe drinking water and sanitation facilities to alleviate poverty."
Mr Aboagye said many processes had started in the Volta Basin towards evolving mechanisms to rationally manage water resources, including the Project for Improving Water Governance of the Volta. The central role of the Project is to initiate effective trans-boundary water management and prevention of conflict in sharing the resources.
Mr Aboagye said there was the need to build partnerships and strengthen the mechanisms for information sharing in order to limit suspicions and conflicts over exploitation of resources of the Volta Basin.
Dr Madiodio Niasse, Coordinator of the Regional Bureau of World Conservation Union, said in April 2004 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Ghana and Burkina Faso to consolidate water resource management between them.
He said the workshop was a follow-up to the one held in Ouagadougu, Burkina Faso, last year to exchange experience on the management of shared resources of the Volta Basin and to implement the IWRM in the two countries.
Dr Niasse expressed the hope that the recommendations of the workshop would help revitalize the activities of all the stakeholders to consolidate the mechanisms of exchange and cooperation on water.