From Kampala to Kumasi, Safe Water Network Spreads Message about the Potential for Small Water Enterprises
This summer, Safe Water Network presented at two important sector events to share progress and showcase strategic partnerships. An important part of our work is to document and disseminate lessons from our operating footprint of over two hundred water stations in Ghana and India as we continuously refine and optimize the model. We’re confident small water enterprises are an important piece of the sector approach to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6.1, and that the exchange of ideas through conferences, networks and other collaborative initiatives is important for advancing the sector.
On June 21, Charles Yeboah hosted a booth at the Kampala WASH Symposium, an international gathering aimed at looking beyond a project approach to whole system change and support of robust national systems. The Innovative Partnership Expo highlighted our The Public-Private Partnership for Water in Ghana, an initiative funded by the Dutch government to demonstrate a model for public-private partnership engagement on the viability of a market-based model for community water supply.
The partnership, between Safe Water Network, The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mannen Van Staal, Kingdom Water, and eight District Assemblies, will implement 30 Stations and 10 sub-Stations, reaching a population of 100,000+ in the Eastern and Volta regions. As the sector increases demand for sustainable solutions to community water supply, market-based solutions are becoming more prominent. This project will result in the development of tools for replication of the model across Ghana and elsewhere, and an enhanced evidence base of the operational and technical viability of the approach.
Traveling 3000+ miles from Kampala to Kumasi, Safe Water Network continued to spread the word about small water enterprises and their potential in reaching the one in four people globally living without reliable access to safe water. In July, a Safe Water Network delegation participated at the 39th Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) International Conference, under the theme Ensuring Availability and Sustainable Management of Water and Sanitation for All. Taking advantage of the location at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana, the team interacted with practitioners on topics ranging from appropriate technologies to governance.
On Tuesday, July 12, Joseph Ampadu-Boakye presented a model of decentralized community water supply to 40 representatives of government, NGOs, donors and academics. Joe and the team fielded questions from the audience regarding community engagement, District Assemblies’ financial contributions, and tariffs. Attendees were keen to see the approach in action, so Joe set up a field visit to three of our Stations in Ashanti, leading to new relationships that bridge technical and financial expertise across organizations.
During the session, Mr. Clement Bugase, Chief Executive of Ghana’s Community Water and Sanitation Agency, reinforced his agency’s cooperation with Safe Water Network. “As a government agency, we see Safe Water Network as partners in the water sector who are contributing to meeting a critical need for sustainable safe water access. We have collaborated with Safe Water Network since they started in Ghana, and encouraged them to align their work to the regulatory framework for community water supply in Ghana. We hope that Safe Water Network is able to secure more funding so they can reach out to more communities with sustainable safe water access.”
The next stop for Safe Water Network is Stockholm, Sweden, for SIWI World Water Week, where we will co-convene a side session with the US Agency for International Development on Practical Solutions for Sustainable Small Water Enterprises in India. The event addresses practical solutions globally with a focus on Service-Level Benchmarks and digital tools for small water enterprises, developed by Safe Water Network, the Government of India, and USAID. Please join us Wednesday, August 31, 2016 at 16:00-17:30 in the Music Hall.