Access to potable water in urban areas at 93 percent – Too early to celebrate, In 2020 and in the era of COVID-19, the indicator to watch is household water connections

Some people appear to be celebrating too early. This is a good outcome but does not deserve the celebrations and pats on the back seen in the Ghanaweb story below. It is not yet Uhuru. In the era of COVID-19, household water connections should be the new measure of success. Just about six years ago, urban water connections inside dwelling was about 15.7% and 11.4% outside dwelling but on compound. (Ghana Living Standards Survey, 2014:91) We need new indicators for measurement of success. The Ghanaweb’s story below show policymakers are focused on coverage but we need access.

Access to potable water in urban areas in Ghana stands at 93 per cent, Madam Cecilia Dapaah, Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, said on Wednesday.

She said the coverage included; all interventions made by stakeholders within the urban water space.

Madam Dapaah said this when she took her turn at the Meet the Press Series in Accra to give an update on her Ministry’s activities.

She said national demand for urban water per Ghana Water Company Limited analysis was 321 Million Gallons per Day (MGD), while production was 199 MGD.

She noted that the Ministry in collaboration with the Ghana Water Company Limited was working to close the gap created between the demand and supply, which was around 122 MGD.

The Minister said the government had not relented in its efforts at ensuring that the universal water coverage by 2030 was met in line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) six and called for support of all.

She said increasing water coverage required steady yearly investments in water infrastructure, since population growth and demand for water kept growing.

Madam Dapaah said last year, the second phase of the $48.1 million grant secured by government from the World Bank to address water supply in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) was substantially completed and improved water supply service in Bankuma, Zinginshore, Ashaiman, Lakpana, Pokuase East, Pokuase West, Olebu, Amanfrom, Katamanso (New Legon), Sapeiman, Boi, Adjei Kojo, Santeo, Dome, Kwabenya, Madina, Taifa, Tetegu and Ashalley Botwe.

She said that phase of the project had improved access to potable water for over 420,000 people living in the GAMA, equivalent to 85,000 households.

“A total of about 281km length of distribution pipelines have been laid. Additional financing of $65 million has been approved to improve the operational efficiency of the Ghana Water Company Limited and for the expansion of water distribution networks in selected communities of the GAMA and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area (GKMA),” the Minister said.

She said water supply to Winneba, Akim Oda and Akwatia had improved considerably after the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on 23rd November, 2018, commissioned Water Supply Projects for the three towns.

She said to address the water supply deficiency in Bolgatanga, Zuarungu, Navrongo, Paga, Bongo and other small communities, government in July 2018, secured funds to undertake a €37.68million water project to serve about 180,000 people in those areas.

Madam Dapaah said the project, which commenced on September 01, 2018, was about 59 per cent complete and that progress made so far was the laying of three kilometres of 250mm HDPE raw water pipeline for Vea Water Treatment Plant and the laying of 13.6km of 315mm/250mm/200mm HDPE transmission pipeline.

The Minister said the construction of the Intake Structure was also ongoing.

The rest are construction of the general service building for the new Tono Water Treatment Plant, which had commenced, 80 per cent of the sludge drying beds for the new Water Treatment Plant completed, 600m3 capacity elevated reservoir at the Navrongo District Assembly at 36 per cent complete and eleven kilometer of distribution pipelines ranging from 110mm to 250mm laid.

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