The Ghana Rural Water Forum took place in Accra yesterday, October 7, 2015 at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel under the theme, ‘From Data to Impact: Leveraging partnerships for sustained rural water services’ under the distinguished patronage of the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing.
The SMARTerWASH Project, a joint initiative led by the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) that focuses on ensuring effective use of monitoring information to keep water and sanitation services working, shared the baseline data on functionality and service levels of existing rural water and small town water facilities in about six regions in Ghana.
CWSA has since 2014 been leading, with the support from IRC, AKVO, World Bank and SkyFox, a sub-sector effort at improving the existing mechanisms for monitoring rural water and small town water services in Ghana. The initiative will improve reliability of data so that districts and national government will have the necessary data to inform sector policy choices, programming, better targeting and investment decisions to solve problems with water service provision. With the collective sector support, baseline data on functionality and service levels of all existing rural water and small town water facilities in Ghana will be established. The data being gathered will be compiled into a “State of Rural Water Services in Ghana” to provide a stronger framework for water service level bench-marking that lead to long-lasting services.
As part of the partnership, a Ghanaian private company, SkyFox has set up an SMS alert system and is strengthening relationships between community service providers, area mechanics and spare part distributors to improve technical services that assure reduced service downtime.
The SMARTerWASH initiative is being supported through a partnership with IRC, Akvo and Skyfox and collaborative funding from the Government of Ghana, the Dutch Government, the World Bank, UNICEF, the Conrad Hilton Foundation and SNV,
Yesterday's event signified government’s public commitment to strengthen country systems for sector monitoring through partnerships that assures collective impact for the delivery of quality water services. The event:
- Showcased the achievement in advancing ICT technologies for rural water service monitoring and progress towards establishment of regional level baseline data for programming and investment decision;
- Explored emerging issues that need to be collectively engaged and where synergies can be built to support rural water service monitoring; and
- Discussed opportunities to leverage the existing funding sources and partnerships for acquiring additional resources to complete the baseline data collection in the remaining 85 districts and how to ensure continuity of the monitoring process