The maiden regional workshop aimed at reinforcing efforts to promote integrity and accountability at all levels of the water management and service delivery chain in the Sub-Saharan African regions, is currently under way in Accra.
The week-long workshop which is being rolled out by the Water Integrity Network with the collaboration of the Water Resource Management Unit of the Economic Community of West African States, Global Water Partnership of West Africa and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is expected to build the capacity of participants to effectively and efficiently develop and implement anticorruption action plans.
It also aims at helping the participants to develop tools for passing on their knowledge as “water integrity ambassadors” which would ultimately lead to strengthening transparency, accountability and participation in water governance.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Wednesday at the end of the first session of the workshop, Mr Momodu Maligi, Sierra Leonean Minister of Water Resources described the event as offering Ghana and Sierra Leone the rare opportunity to dialogue, collaborate and to share experiences that would deepen high level commitment in the water sector for both countries.
He announced that when he returns to his country, he would add value to the procurement process at his Ministry to ensure that the processes of management, contracts as well as promises made to the citizenry were considered as “open and transparent”.
Mr Maligi said “I am going to engage the Transparency International, the Sierra Leone chapter, to draw a Memorandum of Understanding where they would serve as a core part of my Ministry’s operations”.
He added that he would set up a Complaint Section in the Transparency International Unit of his Ministry to monitor their operations as well as to be a part of the contract process.
Mr Maligi, who is a workshop participant, is in the country as the head of a high-powered Sierra Leonean delegation in the water resource sector.
The delegation is made up of Government officials from his Ministry as well as technocrats from two key water utility agencies in Sierra Leone.
Dr Daniel Kwesi Yawson, the Project Coordinator for Nigeria of the IUCN, stressed the need to influence Government to put in place the necessary instrument to check corruption in the water sector.
The instrument which could check corruption included the passage of the Right to Information Bill and harmonizing of law to eliminate unnecessary duplications.
Clearly-defined and well-prescribed responsibilities for duty holders, accountability, participation and the ability to track project cycle from the planning stage to the final implementation were other measures he recommended.