Officials from the Ministry of Finance were told the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) Sanitation and Water project which commenced in 2015 has exceeded its target by 17percent with one more year to go.
This was said at a meeting held at the Institute of Local Government Studies, Accra to brief the Finance Ministry team on the level of progress as the project ends on 31st May, next year.
The team were wowed that between 2017 and 2019, 22,346 household toilets have been constructed, far exceeding the 19,100 target, according to a presentation by Ing. Kwadwo Gyasi, Sanitary Engineer, GAMA Project.
The figure he said, includes Ga West 4129, Ledzokuku-Krowor 2953, Tema Metropolitan 2718, Accra Metro 2228, Ga South 1876, La Nkwantanang 1782, Adentan 1355, Ga East 1315, Ashaiman 1308, Ga Central 1077, La Dadekotopon 982 and Kpone Katamanso 623.
For the institutional toilets, he noted that 406 toilet units have been constructed for 260 schools as at May 2019. Out of the 260 schools, 115 schools have had theirs completed.
On water supply, Ing Somuah Tenkorang, GAMA project Coordinator, Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) indicated that the company was set to increase access to water supply by improving the distribution networks systems of about 150kilometers to 250,000 people.
He noted that 281km pipeline works completed leading to 5,879 new water connections reaching 48,447 people.
Ing. Tenkorang added that water service delivery has been improved to about 367,000 population in GAMA reaching 73,000 households.
According to him, low income urban consumer support unit created and functional under GWCL.
He stressed that 43.50million dollars is required to complete some outstanding works on the project before it expires.
Mr George Asiedu, Project Coordinator of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area Sanitation and Water Project (GAMA-SWP) is advancing his reasons for additional funding to tackle the under-covered areas.
“We set ourselves to construct about 19,100 household toilets with two financiers, one from the GPOBA (now GPRBA) which gave us 4.8million dollars with other funding support from the World Bank. As we speak, the project has a one year live to go but we’ve constructed 22, 342 household toilets exceeding our target by 17percent, one year far ahead of the project closing date. If we continue to the end of the project it will be massive but then, we are also limited by funding,” he intimated.
Mr. Asiedu added that they have lost 12million dollars of the 150million project amount to exchange rate fluctuations.
“The GWCL component was 50million dollars and 100million for the sanitation component. Out of the 150million dollars, we’ve lost about 12million dollars to exchange rate fluctuations. So 139million dollars was the remaining funding available to us which has been exhausted. To be frank, even the 150million dollars which was given to us wasn’t enough. So interms of how much we need, the sky will be the limit but we are discussing with government how far they can make available funding to us. But am sure that between now and the next six months government will conclude on that base on combination of priorities,” he emphasised.
Mr Asiedu said initially, beneficiaries paid between GH¢1,000 and GH¢2,000 for the household toilets depending on the size and specification of the facility but the toilets were later sold between GH¢600 and GH¢1,200 as the subsidy was increased from 50-70 per cent.
He stressed that 7000 potential beneficiaries who hitherto were not having access to water have been registered waiting to be connected to water.
“In the case of water supply, we set ourselves to provide 250,000 population with water supply from low income communities. The original target was to provide 3500 new connections and as we speak now, we’ve done 5,879 new connections exceeding the target.
We still have a lot of people in the pipeline who still need to be connected. Infact we’ve registered about 7000 potential beneficiaries who hitherto were not having access to water because of the expansion of the water network through the project they’ve applied to be connected but unfortunately we’ve exhausted the funding. So what we saying is that all the 7000 need to be connected and we need to continue to expand so that water get to every corner of Accra and the low income communities will also have improved standard of living. Water goes with improved sanitation,” he intimated.
The Ministry of Finance team led by Sauda Ahmed Seinu, Principal Economics Officer, Head of the World Bank Group Unit at the Ministry Finance were enthused with the results of the project after 4years of implementation.
The team will also embark on a three day monitoring visit to project sites in Accra to inspect the quality of work on the ground.