The Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), on Wednesday engaged stakeholders on how to improve and sustain water service delivery through partnerships with beneficiaries.
The meeting, which was on the theme: “Sustaining Water Service Delivery: Innovations and Partnerships for Scaling-up”, would also showcase innovations and works by the Agency in some selected Districts to enhance water delivery services at the community level.
Mr Emmanuel Gaze, Director of Technical Services, CWSA, explained that the meeting would help build stronger partnerships with sector stakeholders with the aim of developing innovations for national up-scaling.
He said the Agency had initiated a number of innovations including the endorsement and adoption of the Services Delivery Approach (SDA), as a means to sustain efforts of achieving sustainable Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) services in the country.
He cited the Triple-S Project, which was a six-year learning initiative of the International Water and Sanitation Centre, spanning 2009 to 2014 and hosted in Ghana by the CWSA to promote and support processes aimed at moving from project based initiatives.
Dr Tyhra Carolyn Kumasi, Senior Research Officer of the Triple-S Project said an assessment of the use of the mobile phone text systems as an innovative way of ensuring effective, continuous and sustainable water supply to rural communities had shown positive results, indicating that it could be replicated in other parts of the country.
She said the project, which was currently being piloted in the Akatsi, East Gonja and Sunyani West Districts, in the Volta, Northern and Brong Ahafo Regions respectively, focused on the functionality of water facilities and the level of services provided.
It also investigates the compliance of community-based service providers and service authorities with national norms, standards and guidelines for community water supply.
Dr Kumasi further explained that the project worked in partnership with District Assemblies, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, mobile money operators, the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) among other stakeholders, who played various roles in ensuring the continuous monitoring and repair of water pumps.
She said the central portal which had been created for sharing of information through text messages and feedback had been good to ensure constant repairs and monitoring of the various water pumps.
She said it had also created employment opportunities for the local communities as people were employed as caretakers of the various water pumps. “These employees are expected to report the conditions of the pumps regularly to the central portal via text messages using the GPS system”.
She however mentioned challenges with ownership, proper utilization and access to mobile phone networks in some remote communities.