Dr. Al-Hassan Sumani, the Director of Water at the Ministry of Water Resources Works and Housing (WD-MWRWH) formally launched the WASH Technologies (WASHTech) Ghana project on the National Level Learning Alliance platform in Accra.
In a short keynote address read on his behalf by Engineer Charlotte Engman, Dr. Sumani lauded the global coordinators of the WASHTech project, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre and partners’ for selecting Ghana as one of the three implementing countries of the project. He also commended the European Commission for the continued support.
The WASHTech project (2011-2013) is co-funded under the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission’s Africa research programme and involves local partners in Burkina Faso, Uganda and Ghana.
The partners involved are Training, Research and Networking for Development (TREND), Ghana; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana ; WaterAid in Ghana, Uganda and Burkina Faso; Water and Sanitation for Africa (WSA) in Burkina Faso; and Network for Water and Sanitation (NETWAS), Uganda. European partners include IRC in The Netherlands, SKAT Foundation in Switzerland, Cranfield University and WaterAid in the United Kingdom.
The aim of the WASHTech project is to introduce a robust Technology Assessment Framework (TAF) that will assess the potential of new innovative technologies which may be used at decentralised level.
Dr. Sumani said “This is a welcome development and I’m very confident that the partners selected in Ghana to lead the process (TREND Group, Water Ghana and KNUST) are very capable partners in my estimation; and I have no doubt that the overall objective will be well achieved with the support of all sector partners”
He reminded the project partners that his Directorate and stakeholders will expect the following promised direct research outputs:
a) a widely applicable Technology Assessment Framework (TAF), which is a process that will provide a simple system and criteria for evaluating new technologies and their performance, identifying sustainability issues, and analysing approaches to introduction, innovation, diffusion and scaling up; and
b) established capacities in Ghana to apply the TAF and adapt the processes to local contexts.
According to him it was gratifying to note that the project is committed to defining strategies for innovation and scaling up, and the time-span and process needed to achieve successful up-take of innovations. He noted that these outputs will be of direct use to the sector and urged project partners to take the issue of embedding seriously.
He expressed confidence in the use of the learning alliance approach, as it seeks to bring a number of stakeholders along. According to him that is a step in the right direction. He then declared the WASHTech Ghana project duly launched assuring the project partners of government’s full support.
The 25th edition of NLLAP, which hosted the launch, was chaired by Mr. Naa Demedeme, the Acting Director of the Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (EHSD-MLGRD). Participants were mainly stakeholders from government, civil society, development partners, private sector, media and research institutions.