THE success story of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) in the Ashanti Region has attracted the Federal Republic of Nigeria to send a 22-member strong delegation to understudy the project to enable the Federal government to replicate it in that country.
The African Development Bank (AfDB), which is sponsoring the Ghana project, is about to extend similar support to Nigeria and the Federal government believes the Ghana project is the best to learn from because of the achievements so far made under it.
The Federal Minister of Water Resources, Engineer R.C. Onyeanusi, led the Nigeria delegation comprising politicians, engineers, civil servants and other professionals.
As part of the study tour, the delegation paid a courtesy call on the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Opoku-Manu and visited some of the beneficiary communities in the region to have first hand information about the success story of the project.
The RWSP is an African Development Bank (AfDB) sponsored project currently being implemented in five districts of the Ashanti Region, namely Atwima Mponua, Atwima Nwabiagya, Afigya Sekyere, Asante Akyem South and Kwabre.
The project aims at contributing to meeting the national goal of 85 per cent water coverage by 2015.
Specifically, it is to provide portable water facilities to 250,000 people and adequate sanitation to 280,000 people within the project area.
Among the facilities being provided by the project include 1,406 boreholes, 33 hand dug wells, three rainwater harvesting systems, two small towns pipe schemes, 6,000 institutional latrines and 10 shared septic tank systems.
Welcoming the delegation, Mr Opoku-Manu said the government was determined to get the best for the rural people of the country.
He stated that if the rural areas were provided the needed amenities to make life better for them, the people there would not travel to the urban centres in search of non-existent jobs.
The minister said Ghana and Nigeria had had fruitful relationship over the years and that the study tour was an ample testimony of the determination of both countries to build on their relationship.
In a brief statement, Engineer Onyeanusi praised the CWSA for the able manner it had steered the project and said, “We are happy to learn from you.”
“We hope to get the best out of this visit for our rural people,” the minister said.
In an interview, the Ashanti Regional Director of CWSA, Mr Ofori McCarthy, said 39,750 people had been served under the Ventilated Improved Pits (VIPs) toilet project, representing 66.25 per cent of the target population.
He said a total of 806 boreholes had been successfully built serving a population of 241,800.
According to Mr Ofori, other achievements made were in consultancy services for information, education and communication for local people who managed the facilities.