Graphic Business News

Inadequate financial resources threaten water sector devt

By: Jessica Acheampong
The water sector in Ghana requires huge external investments for government to be able to improve infrastructure and improve potable water delivery.

The Executive Secretary of the Water Resources Commission, Mr Ben Y. Ampomah, has said getting sustainable financial resources to ensure water security poses a great challenge to the country’s resolve to make a difference in the water and sanitation sector.
He said investments required to help develop adequate infrastructure was minimal, hence the need to have external investments.
Addressing a group of investors at the German-Ghanaian Congress for Water and Sanitation Management Technologies in Accra on November 8, Mr Ampomah said, “We are aware that the investment needed to develop adequate infrastructure platform in the country is quite colossal and requires external investment.”
“As a first step, we are aiming at introducing a broad and open platform for strengthening and expanding multilateral water dialogue with a focus on drawing in the required businesses and investments,” he said.

He added, “In this direction, we will continue our cooperation with interested countries such as Germany. That is why we are pleased to have you here with the view to exploring avenues for possible collaboration and investments in water.”
He said Ghana was ready to establish further partnerships and receive investments in the sector to increase the rate and pace of infrastructure and service delivery.
Sustainable management
He said globally, the development and management of water for accelerating economic development without compromising livelihoods and health of the population, as well as the ecosystem had attracted considerable interest.
The global interest, he explained, was driven by the recent sustainable development goal (SDG) 6 which is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030, and ultimately by the Global Water Vision 2050, which seeks to promote the inclusive sustainable development of water to support human communities, maintain the functions of ecosystems and ensure economic development.
“In our quest to develop as a nation, ensuring the sustainable development and management of our water resources is critical and unavoidable. However, we can better provide improved access to safe water and sanitation services to all people in Ghana,” he said.
Ghana is well-endowed with water resources, both surface and underground and are sufficient to support the various uses if properly developed and managed.
The challenge, however, is how to better develop and manage the ‘too much’ and sometimes ‘too little’ or ‘too polluted’ water in an inclusive way, now and in the future to ensure the sustenance of life and ecosystems.
He said the levels of water development and use in Ghana were quite low explaining that “indeed, water availability changes significantly in time and is unevenly distributed in space. The water ecosystems are also not in a healthy state and just over 13 per cent is utilised.”
The government’s water agenda and strategy policy focus include to introduce innovations such as reuse and recycling to enhance the benefits of existing water infrastructure
It will also seek to develop additional water supplies for diverse uses through investments in new sources, especially water storage facilities. The strategy will also look at improving water quality and environmental protection, as well as improving the knowledge base and management capacities in the sector.
He added that implementation and realisation of the new agenda required that “we improve governance, act collectively, set priorities, align policies and actions and mobilise resources for execution.”
“This calls for concrete and interrelated actions including delivering investments in water availability, access to safe water and sanitation services, better management and optimal use of water in ways that promote long-term growth,” he said.
GWCL potential
The Officer-In-Charge, Development and Investment (PPD) at the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Mr Isaac Apenyo, highlighted the strategic vision of the company.
He said the company’s vision included restoring 50 water supply systems to its installed capacity by expanding the production capacity of water supply systems to meet the 2025 target.
The strategy to achieve this, he explained, was to explore other aggressive forms of investment to undertake these capacity expansions, including private participation through public private partnership (PPPs).
With respect to strengthening the existing distribution network, the GWCL intends to involve local investors as well as package projects to attract investments locally.
The other strategies include extending distribution pipelines on an annual basis to meet the annual population growth and undertaking periodic and routine maintenance of the existing systems to ensure the sustainability of the investments. — GB