Open defecation which is a major challenge hindering the economic growth in Ghana will soon become a thing of the past as the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources(MSWR) is working assiduously to provide affordable toilets facilities to communities within the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area.

This laudable initiative would be realized under the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) Sanitation and Water Project.

It is a project is a $150 million endeavour sponsored by the World Bank with the collaboration of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources to help lower income level communities have access to affordable toilet and water facilities.

A Social Safeguard Specialist at Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resource Sarah Antwi-Boasiako, made this known in an exclusive interview during this year’s this year’s 29th edition of MOLE Conference Series which was held at Sogakope in the Volta Region; under the theme: “Reforming Ghana’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Sector Towards Universal Access.”

According to her, their core aim is to construct 19,200 toilets within this period they have the project.

“Now, we have exceeded 13,000. Our rate at the moment is 10,000 per month. We shall hit our target at the middle of next year.

It is a five years project and supposed to end this year. But it has been extended to 2020 to enable us provide all sanitation interventions to communities within the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area,” she explained.

This she said, currently they are providing toilets facilities to households and to some selected public schools who are in dire need of sanitation facilities.

“We also rehabilitating some sanitation infrastructure in Greater Accra Metropolitan area.

And also, building the capacity of the government staff so that can deliver the work effectively,” she added.

According to her, the Ministry has also designed a GAMA Grievance Redress Mechanism
(GRM) to help improve urban sanitation service delivery. The (GRM) will help:
• Monitor and evaluate and modify the interventions to suit the needs of the people
• Opened a window of opportunity for vulnerable people to voice their concerns and be heard at no cost.

• Helping implementing agencies to be more responsive to the needs of the people

• Reduce the perceived hassle in complaining on government projects and belief that project authorities will not listen or act upon the grievances to their satisfaction.

“Any government, donor or private sector interventions in sanitation sector should consider integrating GRM (from design to implementation); to enable people seek redress, build trust and ensure sustainability of the interventions,” she recommended.

The Programme Manager Liquid Waste Unit, SD, Henrietta Osei –Tutu, also touched on ESICOME:
It is the revival of the old Sanitary Inspection (SAMASAMA) that invokes an image of the inspector as a fearsome sanitary police officer but in a very modified way.

According to her the implementation of the ESICOME Programme achieved some success but due to operational challenges, the programme stalled.

This she said, the MSWR has resolved to revive the ESICOME Programme to ensure sanitation infrastructure and services delivered are sustained.

This she said, of ESICApps has been developed to help monitor and implement the ESICOME Programme, and also aid in information gathering.

“Hopefully the ESICApps will provide the required data for MMDAs to plan more adequately for sanitation services,” she added.

Source:Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh

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