Discussions are underway in Accra between development on how partners and the government to improve the quality of drinking water in Ghana.
Known as the ‘Partnership for Capacity Development in the Water and Sanitation Sector’, the new effort is geared towards developing a water safety plan for drinking water treatment plants.
It is also to give a significant impulse to the health situation in the country by improving the quality of drinking water.
The project is under the partnership of Vitens Evides International (VEI) and International Water Association (IWA) in collaboration with the European Union (EU) and African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Project.
Under it, a central water laboratory is to be constructed at Kpong in the Eastern Region at a cost of 1.5 million euros to serve Accra and Tema. It is to treat 40 million gallons of water.
The three-year partnership, will provide independent quality control within the drinking water organisations, improve competency and knowledge of officials, operators and laboratory personnel.
At the maiden meeting in Accra yesterday, Mr. Herve Delsol, a member of the EU Delegation in Ghana, said the implementation of the project should be realised as participation between Ghana and the EU and not a donor relationship.
He stated that the project was relevant because as it would build on experiences in the past within the existing organisational structures to allow for maximum impact and maximum chance for acceptable and sustainable impact.
Mr. K.G. Dovlo, Deputy Managing Director, Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), observed that “the partnership for capacity development was a precondition to ensure a significant improved professionalism in the water supply sector.
In that regard, he said it was vital to enhance the water quality assurance within the sector by monitoring the surveillance of improved availability of materials and equipment of central and regional laboratories.
Jonas Jabulo, Chief Manager, Quality Assurance, GWCL, conceded that with rapidly increasing number of people moving to urban areas, water provided by the company was not sufficient to meet growing demand, thus allowing people to use untreated water.
Evans Balaara, General Manager, Ghana Urban Water Limited, raised concerns about mining activities which had polluted water bodies and threatened to public health and called for a central treatment plant to restructure the urban water sector to improve availability of portable water.
Tom Williams, an official of IWA, hinted that the IWA intended to continue its relationship with the Ghanaian partners after the end of the project since water sector improvement took time and involvement.
Marco Schouten, an official of VEI, said VEI would ensure that the water quality assurance procedures were structurally embedded in the sector to maintain mandatory results as a permanent asset to the beneficiary partners.