Stakeholders in the water services sector have been urged to invest funding and other resources in scaling up small water enterprises to complement the government’s efforts in delivering safely managed water services to people in Ghana.
This according to the Country Director of Safe Water Network, Charles Nimako, would accelerate efforts at delivering improved water services, especially in rural and peri-urban areas by 2030, in fulfilment of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.
This call was made at the 2023 Safe Water Network Beyond the Pipe Forum organised in Accra last week.
The forum, which was on the theme, “Setting the Stage for Growing Small Water Enterprises in Ghana”, brought together leaders from both the public and private sectors and development partners to dialogue on how to advance the scale-up of small water enterprises (SWEs) to deliver safely managed water access for an estimated 3.2 million people in over 1,000 peri-urban communities and small towns in Ghana by 2030.
On the sidelines of the conference, the Board Chairman of the Water Resources Commission, Mintah Aboagye, highlighted the need for public-private partnerships in Ghana’s effort at increasing access to clean and potable water, especially in small towns and rural communities.
“The government through the Water Resources Commission and other agencies regulate the sector and it is important that private sector entities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) go through this regulation and also partner government as it works towards improving access to potable water in small towns and peri-urban centres. We see the collaboration with the private sector and multilateral organisations as the key to achieving this goal in line with SDG 6,” he said.
In his welcome address, Mr Nimako stressed the importance of scaling up small water enterprises so they could complement the government’s efforts for achieving sustainable access to water for all.
“Our work over the past few years has led to a significant improvement in the state of the market for SWEs. Collectively, small water enterprises have invested nearly $20 million in the water sector and are delivering safe, reliable and affordable water services to 1.4 million people across all 16 regions in Ghana”
The organisers of the conference, Safe Water Network, is an international non-profit organisation which leverages best practices, tools and expertise across hundreds of communities to improve the performance of community-based safe water solutions with public, private and NGO partners.
The organisation has so far implemented community-based water solutions across 36 districts in 10 regions of Ghana, benefiting 147 communities. Over 460,000 people across these communities have been served with safe and reliable water through cutting-edge solutions and innovations by the organisation.
The 2023 Beyond the Pipe Forum was sponsored by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Stone Family Foundation, 4WARD Development West Africa, Interplast, Grundfos and Easywater for Everyone.