- Agyapong urges development partners
By Naa Lamiley Bentil,
The President of the Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA), Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyapong, has called on Ghana’s development partners in the Netherlands to give the private sector a chance to utilize available funding to improve Ghana’s environmental sanitation conditions.
“The private sector should be targeted and included in both decision-making and the implementation of donor supported programmes in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector for a positive impact,” he said.
Dr. Agyapong made the call at the just-ended Amsterdam International Water Week (AIWW) in the Amsterdam.
He led a delegation of ESPA to participate in the event. Members of the delegation included officials of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Asadu Royal Waste and Jekora Ventures.
The platform provided opportunities for sector players to build networks and find partners for improved service delivery in the water and sanitation sector.
The ESPA is an association of private waste contractors in Ghana, with a membership of about 103 formal solid waste collectors, 91 liquid waste collectors and over 1,400 informal waste collectors
Speaking to a group of stakeholders in the water and sanitation sector at the Ghana Country Platform, an event organized on the sidelines of the Water Week, Dr Agyapong observed that for a long time the development partners, including The Netherlands Government, had been dealing largely with the public sector, which had clearly not yielded the expected results, considering the enormity of the challenges faced in the environmental sanitation sector today.
He spoke on the topic: “Private sector experiences in the sanitation intervention in Ghana.”
Dr Agyapong, who is also the Executive Chairman of the JOSPONG Group of companies, including Zoomlion Ghana Limited, stated that it was time the development partners looked the way of the private sector, since the amount of money that had been invested over the past decade into the water and sanitation, for instance, did not reflect the results and the impact on ground.
According to him, the development partners had invested more than $1 million in Ghana’s water and sanitation sector through the public sector in just four years.
In 2011, $248,000 and $100,550 were invested in water and sanitation, respectively. The following year, $158,000 was spent on water and $87,606 for sanitation.
In 2013. $190,266 was invested in water and $148,000 in sanitation.
The country also received $72,327 for water and $27,889 for sanitation in 2014
“Despite these investments, the country still lags behind in sanitation and is now the world’s 7th dirtiest country. This is not good and we must work to change it,” he stated.
DONOR SUPPORT NEEDED
In making a case for the private sector, Dr Agyapong said Zoomlion was, for instance, diversifying Ghana’s waste management services to include solid, liquid, oil and gas and medical waste, recycling of plastics, compositing, as well as the management of landfills.
He said high interest rates and the sheer lack of interest by the commercial banks in the sector made access to funding to improve and expand waste management services by members of ESPA difficult, hence the decision of the association to seek the support of the development partners.
Consequently, he said, there was the need for “a paradigm shift, where local companies will lead practical solutions through the engagement of private sector in donor-funded projects”.