Kotei, a dual faced community within the Kumasi Metropolis has been beneficiaries of the Water and Sanitation for Urban Poor (WSUP) initiative since 2010. The Community is two-faced because one part of the town is rural and lacks basic social amenities, whilst the other side is the exact opposite of this with well laid out environment.
WSUP, a United Kingdom based non-for-profit company is a partnership organization made up of partners from the Academia, private sector and NGO. WSUP Work with local service providers, thus agencies and institution mandated by the constitution to deliver service at the community level. WSUP is therefore working with the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), to provide improved and dignified sanitation services delivery to the people of Kotei community.
Mr. Issaka Barima Musah, the Country Coordinator of the initiative stated in his presentation at the 24th Mole Conference in Kumasi, that his organization is in Ghana to help provide the much needed sanitation services for the urban poor. According to him business entities have disappointed deprived communities with their corporate social responsibilities which could have contributed to make life a little bearable for the urban poor. NGOs as well as the academia have also failed in this direction. This, according to him informed the entities that formed WSUP to come together to bring their strengths and experiences together to deliver water and sanitation services to the urban poor.
Mr. Musah said, WSUP has been working in the Kotei community in collaboration with the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) since 2007, with implementation starting in 2010. He described Kotei as a dual-faced community within the Kumasi Metropolis. He explained that one part of the community is rural and lacks basic social amenities, mostly inhabited by the indigenes with deplorable sanitation facilities, and stand pipes have not experience water running through them for over thirty years. The other side of the town is the exact opposite of this and mostly inhabited by lecturers with well laid out environment. He added that before WSUP’s intervention in Kotei, sanitation conditions were every deplorable with its attendant social and health hazards.
Mr. Musah said WSUP engaged the community in a number of sensitization activities, including the organization of regular clean up exercises, prizes were awarded to hard working participants to serve as a means of motivation. WSUP and its partners also constructed a number of modern sanitation facilities for the Kotei community. These were built on three management models/options with the KMA i.e. (1) - Overall management by KMA/sub metro where KMA/sub-metro will franchise the management of the sanitation block to the Community Management Committees (CMC) (franchisee), (2) - CMC/KMA/sub-metro partnership where CMC/KMA/sub-metro franchise the management of the sanitation block to a private operators (franchisee) and (3) complete hand over to KMA without involving CMC in any way.
Mr. Musah mentioned some challenges they face in the delivery of sanitation services in Kotei to include construction delays and quality of work, low capacity of CMC despite training and on the job coaching, Initial water supply difficulties, non-organization of Public forum by CMC, no checking of CMC accounts by KMA/sub-metro and rising expenditure cost.
It is the expectation of WSUP that these difficulties would be dealt with expeditiously so as to enable them continue to deliver quality and sustainable sanitation services to the people of Kotei. – Victor Otum, IRC/RCN