The rate of breakdown of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities in all the five northern regions have been described as alarming.
The dire situation of the high number of dysfunctional water and sanitation facilities in these parts of the country, according to Kalabash Aid NGO, an NGO which seeks to develop the wellbeing of people, were as a result of neglect on the part of implementing organizations to consider in their WASH projects, the critical component of capacity building that guarantee an effective local management team is put in place to operate and manage water and sanitation facilities after they are handed over to the beneficiaries.
These came to light during the engagement with stakeholders in these five regions on lack of development in the areas.
The situation is promoted by the poor enforcement of the National Water Policy Strategy for Sustainable Rural Water Supply to ensure providers of WASH facilities adopt the formation and capacity training of Water and Sanitation Team (WATSAN) to operate and manage WASH facilities when they are handed over to the beneficiaries.
The Managing Director of Kalabash Aid NGO, Justin Adonadaga, stressed on the need for actors in the water and sanitation sector, especially the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR), the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) and the Water Resources Commission (WRC) to enforce post-construction management strategies to sustain WASH facility functionality.
He added that an effective post-construction management team would improve tariff collection from water users and build partnerships for WASH facility sustainability and development.
Mr. Adonadaga suggested to the new Board of the Kalabash Aid to prioritize funding support for post-construction management capacity training for existing WASH facilities that are dysfunctional or poorly functional to ensure such facilities are revived to serve the growing needy beneficiary population across the country.
“The cost of reviving dysfunctional WASH systems is about 10% of the cost of providing new ones. An estimated 30% of all WASH facilities in Ghana are dysfunctional”, he explained.
Mr. Adonadaga cautioned stakeholders in the WASH sector that “efforts to develop the water and sanitation in the country will not be sustainable without complementary investment in capacity building and skills transfer to support Post-Construction Management of WASH facilities”.
He appealed to the government to improve partnership with international donor organizations and effective national implementing organizations like the Kalabash Aid NGO, to deliver the needed infrastructure and management professionals and technicians to deliver sustainable WASH facilities for Ghana.