ESPA actively participated in the closing conference and cocktail party of the oversight committee meeting of the GNWP phase I on 26th June, 2015 held at the Civil Service Training School, Accra. The oversight committee has representation from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA), Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoF), UNICEF, all the beneficiary MMDAs, Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing (MWRWH). The oversight committee was put together to monitor progress and assist in the implementation of the Ghana-Netherlands WASH Programme (GNWP) proposed projects under phase I of the programme.
The closing conference was attended by the acting Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Caecilia Wijgers and members of the Technical Team for the GNWP. The ESPA representative at the meeting were Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong (President for ESPA), Ama Ofori-Antwi (Executive Secretary for ESPA) and Dramani Yakubu (Research Coordinator for ESPA). The Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development (Kojo Agyekum), Director of Policy at the MLGRD (Joseph Obeng Poku), the media and heads of some Civil Society Organizations in the WASH sector were also present at the meeting.
The closing conference and cocktail party was a major success and looked back at the results achieved in the GNWP phase I (January 2014 – June 2015). Challenges in the implementation of the GNWP phase I and lessons learnt that will guide phase II implementation of the programme were also discussed.
Key personalities including: Caecilia Wijgers (acting Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana) and Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong (President of ESPA) took part in panel interviews about their experiences in the phase I implementation of the programme and the way forward to ensure an even more successful phase II respectively.
Again, a booklet called ‘WASH stories from Ghana’ was developed for the closing conference and made available to participants. The booklet presents insights and lessons learnt during Phase I implementation of GNWP, with regards to projects in the five MMDAs. The subjects are addressed by means of light illustrative stories or in the form of simple business models. The presentation of the themes during the conference generated lively discussions and food for thought as well as inspiration for GNWP Phase II and other WASH programmes that will be developed in the future. The WASH Master Plan developed during the phase I implementation of the GNWP also shared with participants.
Ghana Netherland WASH Programme (GNWP)
The GNWP is a multi-annual programme in Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) embarked upon by the Netherlands Embassy and the government of Ghana. The programme focuses on integrated urban water and sanitation in the five selected municipalities of (Ga West, Ga South, Ga Central Cape coast and Komenda/ Edina/Eguafo/Abirem Municipal Assembly (KEEA) and has an indicative budget of € 200 million up to 2020. The government of Ghana is expected to provide € 50 million of the indicative € 200 million while the Netherlands government provides the remaining € 150 million.
GNWP has been built around 3 main pillars: infrastructure development, behavioural change and capacity building. The programme strives towards innovation, for example in relation to public-private collaboration, funding mechanisms and sanitation marketing. Innovations are needed to realise the ambition to provide all Ghanaians sustainable water and sanitation services by 2025.