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31.07.2005 General News

Politicians asked to support community water systems


Akosombo,(E/R), July 31, GNA-Political leaders have been urged to support community-based water systems management by helping to instil into the people the habit of making individual financial contributions. "We have heard a number of politicians asking why rural and small town dwellers should contribute towards the construction of their water systems when people in the urban centres do not", an official of Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) said.

This came to light at an open forum during a three-day retreat organised for CWSA and members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Works and Housing.

The retreat, aimed at creating a platform for community water experts and the special committee of Parliament that oversees water delivery, to exchange ideas.

According to discussions and ideas toasted, water was being used as a political tool to win favours from the rural population. Participants agreed that such political interference is much felt during campaign periods.

The Member of Parliament for Chereponi, said in her area, all members of the Water and Sanitation Development Board are from one family which has strong political leanings.

Earlier, Mrs Theodora Adomako-Adjei, an extension services specialist, CWSA, had told participants at the concept of communal sense of ownership their water systems should never be compromised. Speaking on the topic, "The Role and Relevance of Water and Sanitation Development Boards" she said the only way to keep small water systems running is to encourage communities to own them.

According to her, communities need to pay 2.1 million cedis as their five per cent contribution to have a borehole constructed. "They also need 800,000 cedis as five per cent contribute to have a hand dug well."

She said CWSA oversees more than one thousand water systems which makes it impossible to offer direct supervision on each system around the clock.

"It is due to some of these reasons the idea of a board that has a four-year mandate to run the systems having gone through basic training offered by us."

She said safe drinking water was a sure way of making Ghana a true healthy nation.