Safe Water Network celebrated World Water Day 2017 by launching new water enterprises in Sekesua and Akateng in Ghana’s Eastern Region, taking the total number of communities served to 94—spanning the Greater Accra, Western, Ashanti, Volta, and Eastern regions. In attendance at the launch were the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Hon. Joseph Kofi Adda, the Dutch Ambassador, H.E. Ron Strikker, and the CEO of Safe Water Network, Kurt Soderlund. The event was attended by representatives of the Upper Manya Krobo District and traditional authorities. This launch is the third of thirty H2OME! Water Enterprises being built this year in the Eastern and Volta regions with support from the Ghana Netherlands WASH Programme (Ghana WASH Window) and partners such as the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Stone Family Foundation, Newman’s Own Foundation, Vitol Foundation, and Ghanaman Trust.
The project will benefit more than 5,000 people in the two communities, increasing the number of people served by Safe Water Network in Ghana to nearly 260,000 in 94 communities. The Akateng H2OME! Water Enterprise applies a modular slow sand filtration system (MSSF) technology with chlorine dosing equipment that will produce an average of 50,000 litres of water daily. The Sekesua H2OME! Water Enterprise, on the other hand, applies a limited mechanization system (LMS) technology with chlorine dosing equipment and will produce an average of 30,000 litres of water daily. To minimize the enterprise’s operating cost and ensure uninterrupted water supply, the H2OME! Water Enterprises use solar power as a primary energy source, with the national electricity grid as back-up. A household connection program will also be implemented to enable interested households have safe running water in their homes.
Speaking at the launch, Hon. Joseph K. Adda mentioned the role of such water systems in achieving the water-for-all target specified in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6.1. He stressed the importance of managing the water enterprises sustainably, and called on the communities to participate in keeping the system running. “Sustainability is critical for any endeavor to succeed that brings benefits for the people,” Adda said. “But we cannot sustain that unless we participate. What Safe Water Network is doing with traditional rulers, government, and international partners is a clear case of how partnerships can and should work. Being my first visit to a site constructed and installed by Safe Water Network, I am impressed and excited about it. This project fits into the Ministry’s agenda and we will take this project as a pilot case for replication as we look forward to providing water for many other communities in the country.”
In an interview, Dutch Ambassador H.E. Ron Strikker reiterated the need for partnerships in providing water for all: “The government cannot do it alone, we are not the only donor, other organizations like Safe Water Network need to be part of it, other private sector partners need to be part of it; public-private partnerships is the way forward”.
Kurt Soderlund, CEO of Safe Water Network, was pleased with the level of commitment from the community, the chief, and the district assembly with their resource contribution for the project: “We really see this as a terrific example of how local partners come together and we are looking forward to the stations sustained for years to come.”
Safe Water Network will implement a robust post-launch sustainability monitoring system, including deployment of resources from our Field Service Entity into the community and partnership with community level leadership to ensure a successful management of the water enterprise. “Over the next five years, we are implementing an ambitious expansion programme to reach up to 150 communities and 500,000 people with sustainable safe water. Partners like the Ghana Government, bilateral, multilateral and private foundations are critical to achieving this goal” says Charles Nimako, Safe Water Network’s Director of Africa Initiatives.