Archive for April, 2013

April 19, 2013

Uganda: Jinja Hospital Gets a 360 Million Shillings Water Project

Paschal B. Bagonza
April 19, 2013

Jinja Hospital situated in the Eastern region of Uganda has commissioned a water project worth 360 million Ugandans shillings.

The tanks consist of a central water reservoir of 100, 000 litres and two overhead water tanks of 24, 000 litres each.

This facility will give the hospital a combined water storage capacity of 150, 000 litres in three reserve tanks.

Men constructing a water tank in Uganda for rainwater harvesting

Men constructing a water tank in Uganda for rainwater harvesting

Uganda Breweries Ltd donated the water storage tanks to the hospital. It is part of the company’s Water of Life Programme. The company wants to be counted as having made tangible contributions to the MDG7 target of reducing by half the proportion of people in Africa without access to water and adequate sanitation.

Since 2011, UBL has so far provided clean water to more than 300, 000 people across the country.

The hospital Medical Director Dr Michael Osinde says the donation will help them serve the many patients in a more sanitized environment.

“As you are aware, water is a major factor in ensuring good hygiene, which in turn ensures better health overall. This increased water capacity means a lot to us because it enables us to serve our large number of patients in a cleaner environment,” Dr Osinde says.

Dr Osinde also says that the donation will enable save a lot on utility bills, which can be crippling to institutions like Jinja Hospital.

Jinja Hospital is the largest hospital in eastern Uganda and has a bed capacity of 600 patients.

The hospital, one of the 13, serves as a regional referral hospital in Uganda.

The new water facility will benefit over 360,000 people including patients and health workers on site.

Pupils collecting water in Uganda. In every society, water , health and education are closely inter-related

Pupils collecting water in Uganda. In every society, water , health and education are closely inter-related

Dr Osinde adds that this intervention with regard to water storage is certainly very welcome and useful.

In 2011, the hospital put up ordinances to promote hygiene and decongest the hospital wards
After many patients had put unbearable pressure on the bathroom and toilet facilities.

April 19, 2013

Malawi Launches Town and Market Centres Water Supply

George G Mhango
April 19, 2013

Malawi President Joyce Banda has launched the Water Supply Initiative under the Town and Market Centres Water Supply and Sanitation Project that will contribute to government’s policy of reducing poverty through improved and sustainable public health and environment.

Malawi's President Joyce Banda

Malawi’s President Joyce Banda

The project will be implemented in seven market centres of Malosa in Zomba; Nkando in Mulanje; Ntaja and Nsanama in Machinga; and Nathenje, Kasiya and Nsalu in Lilongwe.

It will also help meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets for Water and Sanitation said President Banda during the launch at Malosa in Zomba District.

President Banda reiterated that water development remains an important sector in the socio-economic development of Malawi.

“The sector has direct linkages with key sectors of the Economic Recovery Plan, including energy, mining, industrial development, health, education and agriculture through irrigation, access to drinking water, generation of electricity and sanitation. In this respect, the sector is vital in the realization of the country’s economic recovery plan,” she said.

The President said government is implementing the National Water Development Programme through five components of Urban Water Supply and Sanitation; Town and Market Centres Water Supply and Sanitation; Rural Water Supply and Sanitation; Water Resources Development and Management; and Sector Management and Capacity Building.

One of the water Kiosks in Ndirande Malawi where communal ownership is a problem

One of the water Kiosks in Ndirande Malawi where communal ownership is a problem

The NWDP is an initiative that aims at addressing water and sanitary challenges that the country is facing. It is a step towards the Sector Wide Approach (SWAp) who main aim is to implement projects through pooled human and financial resources among others to achieve efficiency and effectiveness in the water and sanitary sector.

The President said a number of donors and development partners have pooled their resources together under the NWDP amounting to K150 billion (US$360.54 million).

The project aims at developing sustainable water supply, sanitation and hygiene service delivery in the seven market centres and the surrounding villages within a distance of 2.5 kilometers from the respective centres.

President Banda thanked the Government of Australia for providing a grant of K4.6 billion (US$14 million) through the Australian Agency for International Development.

These resources from Australian Agency for International Development are channeled through National Water Development Programme and coordinated by the African Development Bank (ADB).

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

April 19, 2013

Zimbabwe: Construction of a 9.04 Million USD Water Project Kicks Off

WaterSan Perspective
April 19, 2013

The Zimbabwe Multi-Donor Trust Fund (ZimFund) has handed-over the site of Mutare water and sanitation works to the contractor.

This project, valued at USD 9.04 million, is the first to be implemented under the Fund’s overall USD 29.65 million Urgent Water Supply and Sanitation Rehabilitation Project (UWSSRP), which will also see developments in the municipalities of Chegutu, Chitungwiza, Harare, Kwekwe and Masvingo.

The UWSSR project has been designed to improve the health and social wellbeing of the residents of the beneficiary cities, through the equitable provision of adequate water supply and sanitation services.

Competition for water resources is perceived by a majority of countries to have increased over the past 20 years

Competition for water resources is perceived by a majority of countries to have increased over the past 20 years

The ZimFund grant will enable the provision of urgent support for the restoration and stabilization of water supply and sanitation services in the six municipalities, by undertaking emergency rehabilitation to the systems and reducing pollution of the water sources.

In Mutare, the project comprises of (i) the partial rehabilitation of Odzani Water Treatment works; (ii) the completion of the Chikanga Reservoir; (iii) the completion of the Mutare Trunk Sewer; (iv) the rehabilitation of Gimboki Sewerage Treatment Works; and (v) the supply of laboratory and other equipment for maintenance.

Speaking after the site handover, ZimFund Manager, Eng. Emmanuel Nzabanita said, “I am delighted that this project that is expected to have a major impact on the people living in Mutare has commenced.

The rehabilitation of Chikanga Water Reservoir, the Gimboki BNR Sewage treatment plant and the pipeline for the outfall sewer will improve the water and sanitation services considerably.

The restoration of some wastewater treatment capacity in the project areas will reduce pollution to the fresh water sources and the immediate environment. The investment and capacity building in this sector will foster improved service delivery and relationships between the providers of water supply and sanitation services and the people they serve. This project will certainly result in systems that are better operated, with more water of better quality supplied for longer periods of the day”.

In addition to the water and sanitation projects, ZimFund is also supporting the Emergency Power Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project (EPIRP) to the tune of USD 35 million.

Benefitting the electricity consuming public in Zimbabwe – especially the poor – this second project will rehabilitate the Ash Plant at Hwange Power Station (HPS), in addition to sub-transmission and distribution facilities in Atlanta (Murehwa), Criterion (Bulawayo), Gweru, Kadoma, Marvel (Bulawayo), Mazowe, Mpopoma (Bulawayo), Norton, Pomona (Harare), Redcliff, Sherwood (Kwe Kwe), Victoria Falls, Zisco (Redcliff), Zvishavane and electricity distribution facilities throughout the country.

Residents of Bulawayo fetch water from a borehole

Residents of Bulawayo fetch water from a borehole

Once complete, these refurbishments and reinforcements of the sub-transmission and distribution networks will improve system reliability and allow the restoration of supply services to about 22,000 customers in various neighbourhoods across the country that presently have no access to electricity services.

The EPIR Project is linked to UWSSR Project, in that it will also improve the electricity supply to the water treatment plant of the Harare city water supply as well as the other five urban water supply systems, with a possible contribution to the reduction in the incidence of cholera and other water related diseases.

April 19, 2013

Scaling Up Water Supply: A Focus on Zambia’s Eastern Water And Sewerage Company

Julius Phiri
April 19, 2013

ZAMBIA has vast water resources in form of rivers, streams, lakes and groundwater, but the declining patterns over the years have had a significant adverse impact on the country’s water resources.

In terms of groundwater, the country has favorable geological conditions for accessing groundwater with regard to depth, storage capacity, available yields and exploitation potential.
It is not disputed that over the years, strides have been made towards improved water service delivery to the urban population.

This is due to cognizance of the concerted efforts of the Zambian Government, cooperating partners and many other stakeholders that have contributed to improved water supply and sanitation service provision in Zambia.

Having access to safe water and basic sanitation is vital to everyone's life

Having access to safe water and basic sanitation is vital to everyone’s life

The National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) is charged with the responsibility of regulating water supply and sanitation service provision for efficiency and sustainability. In executing the tasks, NWASCO ensure that the commercial utility companies abide by the set guidelines and standards of service provision.

“We wish to underscore the critical role Local Authorities play in augmenting water supply and sanitation service delivery as far as enhancing coordination of development planning with service delivery for improved service coverage,” said NWASCO Director Kelvin Chitumbo.

The increased investment in water supply and sanitation service provision specifically, the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other efforts by various partners must be applauded.

Mr. Chitumbo said NWASCO will continue to work in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and other stakeholders for the betterment of the sector.

According to the National Water Policy of 1994, the National Environmental Support Programme and the Water Resource Master Plan 1995 to 2015 outlined strategies and comprehensive plans of action to develop the water sector to realize its full potential for Zambia’s social and economic development.

Most African countries struggle to provide access to water and sanitation to their people

Most African countries struggle to provide access to water and sanitation to their people

Still water resource management has not succeeded to sustainability improve access to water or prevent the pollution of both surface and groundwater. It is not disputed that water has played important role in irrigation, livestock watering, aquaculture, fisheries, food processing and other industries of the national economy.

The National Irrigation Plan (NIP) whose focus is to make Zambia’s agriculture less dependent on rain envisages intensive exploitation of the country’s water resources irrigation.

Water demand in manufacturing is projected to increase to 446,000 cubic millimeters a day by 2015 adding that the water resources are also vital for Zambia’s energy sector.

However, some successes have been achieved in the early and late 1990s during the implementation of the Drought Relief Programme (DRP) thereby upgrading of squatter compounds in peri-urban areas and the rehabilitation of urban water supply programmes which gave a rise to increase in access to safe water supply.

The programme was targeted at drilling and rehabilitating of boreholes as well as wells in the prone areas of Eastern Province and other parts of the country.

Based on the construction and rehabilitation water and sanitation facilities by 2005 access to safe water supplies in Zambia was estimated at 89 percent of the population in urban areas and 37 percent of the population in rural areas in 2000.

For sanitation, it was estimated that 33 percent for urban areas in 2000 and four percent for rural areas.

With respect to this, Eastern Water and Sewerage Company (EWSC), the only provincial utility company in Eastern Province has continued to implement programmes in most districts of the province in order to improve access to water and sanitation services.

The Devolution Trust Fund (DTF) has continued to offer support to the provincial water utility company.

The DTF was established by the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) under the Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS) Act No 28 of 1997 as an instrument to assist Commercial Utilities (CUs) to improve WSS services with a primary focus on low-income areas. The DTF got operationalised through statutory instruments No. 65 of 2001 and No. 40 of 2004 and has been functional since then.

Zambia joined the rest of the universe in commemorating the World Water Day under the global theme ‘Water Cooperation’, the water utility company has also continued to support the planning, execution, management, operation and maintenance of the good services to its masses.

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/47/193 of 22 December 1992 by which 22 March of each year was declared World Day for Water to be observed starting in 1993 in conformity with the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) contained in Chapter 18 Fresh Water Resources of Agenda 21.

EWSC Managing Director Wamuwi Changani said Petauke, Lundazi and Mambwe districts including Chama in Muchinga Province infrastructure rehabiliatation during phase one with the support of Zambian Government and cooperating partners.

Mr Changani said it was the responsibility of the company to provide safe and affordable water to its clients in the province.

“The year, 2013 we look back to a troublesome year when the power crisis hit the company to unprecedented levels further eroding our capacity to maintain favour-able budgetary monitoring. Despite these challenges we weathered the storm and saw the Quarter closing on a favour-able financial and cash-flow note,”he said.

With its motto “EVERY DROP COUNTS”, Eastern Water and Sewerage Company has been striving to provide safe, adequate and affordable water supply and sanitation services with maximum efficiency to the exiting as well as potential clients in the urban and peri-urban areas of the province.

“Our vision is to be model commercial utility exceeding expectations in delivering water supply and sanitation services to all the population in the urban and peri-urban areas of Eastern Province,”Mr Changani said.

Mr Changani urged the all Government departments to release funds for payment of utility bills and help Eastern Water and Sewerage Company manage the provision of clean water supply in all districts of Eastern Province.

It is evident that financing towards the sector is a mammoth task needing concerted efforts by various actors.

April 19, 2013

Malawi: Prepaid Water Metering System Rolled Out

George G Mhango
April 19, 2013

Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) in Malawi with funding from World Bank has started installing prepaid water metering system in some parts of the country’s smallest city of Mzuzu.

NRWB’s public relations manager Edward Nyirenda says that the installation of prepaid meters has started as a pilot phase, targeting 1 200 customers.

Nyirenda says the pilot phase has started in the townships of Katoto, Chasefu and Chimaliro before rolling out to other locations.

“We called our customers that are on pilot programme so that we can brief them about this new method of paying for water. It is a major change for them and it is a major shift for our institution,” he says.

By using a good water mater, a utility company can accurately record the amount of water used in each property, instead of charging a flat rate for water use

By using a good water mater, a utility company can accurately record the amount of water used in each property, instead of charging a flat rate for water use

Nyirenda further explains that each customer will be issued a smartcard for buying water units at any pay points just as they do with prepaid phones and electricity.

“The new system is customer friendly as it gives the customer the power to control water usage since the new meters show the amount of water consumed per day,” Nyirenda says.

Nyirenda adds that when water units run out after working hours, during weekends or public holidays, the meters have been programmed not to cut out flow during such odd hours.

The prepaid water metering system is also being implemented in other countries such as Zambia, Uganda, Turkey and Lesotho. NRWB conceived the idea three years ago after visiting countries that use prepaid water metering system.

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

April 6, 2013

Kenya: Water Everywhere yet No Drop for Drinking

Robert Wanjala
April 6, 2013

Budalangi district lies about 357.87 kilometers northwest of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city.

The district is synonymous with flooding and displacement of persons during rainy season. This is a common trend when River Nzioa bursts its banks letting water to overflow all over the land surface.

Efforts to install dykes to contain the situation have not been effective due to the large volumes of water flowing down to Lake Victoria. It is also claimed that locals interfere with the dykes so that they may get fish when the water overflows.

River Nzoia, seen above is not only an all year round source of water in the region but also a source of trouble

River Nzoia, seen above is not only an all year round source of water in the region but also a source of trouble

For the residents, the situation means another round of ‘goodies’ which include relief supports like food stuffs, clothing, household utilities and even construction materials from relief agents and the government have come in handy.

However, the humanitarian conditions that comes with the rainfall, accessing clean and portable water in the area is one of the main grave challenge during this flooding, Grace Ochieng, a victim of the flood in the region says.

“During rainy periods, floods flush away pit latrines all over the area. Accessing clean water therefore is a real challenge for most of us,” Mrs. Ochieng says. “The surface water gets contaminated for any domestic use.”

For many years, residents have had to adopt unique migratory patterns, moving to high grounds during rainy periods and back to their original homesteads on the lowlands when the floods subside.

Ironically the situation in this region is not any better during dry spells. One would expect that in the absence of floods, underground water would be clean for domestic use.

The soil formation in many parts of Budalangi has high concentrations of iron metals, according to soil expert in Kenya.

Long before the modern technology of testing iron concentration in water before use were discovered, locals adapted to an indigenous method known as “guava leaf” test.

“For a long time we have been using guava leaf as a reagent. We crush the leaf and add to a glass of water in a clear container and leave it to settle for a few minutes,” Joyce Oyeri says.

“After about three to five minutes, the water with iron concentration begins to turn black.” The thickness of dark coloration shows the concentration of iron in the water, she adds.

“Iron has the effects of turning the colour of water to brown when it comes into contact with the surface, Mrs. Oyeri says. “When this water is used for cooking it changes the food colour to dark blue – an unpleasant sight for any meal.”

According to World Health Organization, iron is an essential element in human nutrition. Iron makes up about 5 percent of the earth’s crust. In humans, it is an essential element required for hemoglobin to transport oxygen from the environment to our cells. In industry, it is used as a construction material and to create pigments.

However, high levels of iron can be fatal. The average lethal dose of iron is 200–250 mg/kg of body weight, but death has occurred following the ingestion of doses as low as 40 mg/kg of body weight, according to WHO.

“For humans, the average lethal dose of iron is quite high–between 200 and 250mg/kg of body weight or about 14g of iron for a typical 70kg adult,” WHO reports points out. “Death results from extensive gastrointestinal hemorrhage. However, iron toxicity is rare, and iron intake from drinking water is typically much too low to raise health concerns (about 0.6mg/day if you’re consuming a typical 2 liters of water per day, compared to an average iron intake of 10 to 14mg/day from food).”

Underground waters may contain iron (II) at concentrations up to several milligrams per litre without discoloration or turbidity in the water when directly pumped from a well, according to WHO.

Taste is not usually noticeable at iron concentrations below 0.3 mg/litre, although turbidity and color may develop in piped systems at levels above 0.05–0.1 mg/litre.

The report notes however that while iron in drinking water has no health concerns, iron concentration above 0.3mg/L can cause food and water to become discolored and taste metallic.

Water with a high iron concentration will also stain laundry, silverware and bathroom fixtures.

Water is life and while the available information does not point out serious health concerns, any impurity in domestic water is enough worry and to many people it implies dirt and contamination, says Peter Maina, a community health worker.

Clean water shortage affects the lives of individuals and the vitality of entire communities

Clean water shortage affects the lives of individuals and the vitality of entire communities

During the celebration to mark the world water’s day, Budalangi residents had their hands full. The perennial flooding in the area and high concentration of iron in water had opened a door for modern water purifier technologies.

Local water providers in partnership with INICEF WASH Programme rolled out a massive water filtration and curative techniques which according to Lake Victoria North Water Services Board, LVNWB, is ideal innovation which has been tested in India on a pilot basis.
Water “Dosers” is the latest method being used to address turbidity menace and bacteriological contamination in water in the region.

Dosers are simple devices consisting of a low steel stand with a one litre container for Water Guard (chlorine solution) fitted with a dosing tap that releases a dose sufficient for one 20 litre jerry can at a time, says Peter Bett, communications officer, LVNWB.

Implementing agent for UNICEF WASH Programme, LVNWB says it was confronted with high effects of iron effects in water soon after completion of digging boreholes in various parts of Budalangi.

Treatment of high iron levels typically involves filtration or some form of chemical removal. And as modern technologies come into play, the residents in Budalangi are not about to abandon this old chemistry that for years it has remained effective to them.

April 6, 2013

Water: A Source of Peace in SADC

Barbara Lopi
April 06, 2013

In the Southern African Development Community (SADC), water in is seen as a source of peace rather than conflict.

This was a key message emphasized by SADC’s Director of Infrastructure and Services Mr. Remigious Makumbe during a workshop to Promote Cooperation and Conflict Prevention in Transboundary Water Resources held recently as part of the activities to commemorate the 2013 World Water Day whose theme is Water Cooperation.

SADC’s Director of Infrastructure and Services Mr. Remigious Makumbe

SADC’s Director of Infrastructure and Services Mr. Remigious Makumbe

The a three-day workshop held in Phakalane, Botswana, was organized by the SADC Secretariat and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in line with the theme for this year’s World Water Day, commemorated on March 22.

The 2013 World Water Day theme of Water Cooperation coincides with the UN General Assembly Declaration of 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation (Resolution A/RES/65/154).

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

The workshop was attended by decision makers from the Ministries responsible for Water in the SADC Member States, and representatives of River Basin Organizations in the region. The aim of the workshop was to enhance the capacity of high level water decision makers on transboundary water conflict management and cooperation.

Participants shared and exchanged sub-regional experiences on water cooperation as well as learnt more about designing and conducting negotiation processes on transboundary water-related issues.

Within the SADC region, cooperation is a key component in the regional instruments such as the SADC Treaty, the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) and the Strategic Indicative Plan of the Organ (SIPO).

Water cooperation is specifically promoted through the revised SADC Protocol on Shared Watercourses which was first ratified in 1998 and revised in 2003 to foster close and coordinated co-operation in the management, protection and utilization of Shared Watercourses, and to advance the SADC agenda of regional integration and poverty alleviation.

In his welcome remarks to the workshop Mr. Makumbe noted that water was playing a major role in promoting transparency, dialogue and very high degree of cooperation among Member States in SADC.

SADC Secretariat Senior Programme Officer for Water, Mr. Phera Ramoeli said the signing and ratification of Watercourse Agreements such as the Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission (OKACOM), covering Angola, Botswana and Namibia; the Orange-Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM), covering Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa; the Limpopo Water Commission (LIMCOM) covering Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique; and the Zambezi Watercourse Commission (ZAMCOM) covering Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe is testimony to the high degree of cooperation and working as one family.

Senior Programme Officer for Water at the SADC Secretariat  Phera Ramoeli

Senior Programme Officer for Water at the SADC Secretariat Phera Ramoeli

Over 70 per cent of the SADC region’s fresh water resources are shared between two or more Member States, a situation that has been the basis for the development and adoption of a series of regional instruments to support the joint management and development of shared water courses.

The SADC instruments for water cooperation include the Regional Water Policy, adopted in 2005; the Regional Water Strategy adopted in 2006 and Regional Strategic Action Plan on Integrated Water Resources and Development Management which was first approved by SADC Summit in August 1998 to run in five-year phases.

SADC logo

SADC logo

The SADC Water Division is currently coordinating implementation of the third phase of the Regional Strategic Action Plan on Integrated Water Resources Management and Development (RSAP) 2011-2015.

April 2, 2013

Ghana Remains Upbeat On Water and Sanitation MDG

George Mhango in Tunis
April 02, 2013

Countries or government should be held accountable once they fail to provide water and sanitation services and resources to the masses.

This is according to some of the delegates that attended the launch of the Regional Coordination Committee (RCC) for the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia last week.

The committee launched on March 27, 2013 consists of 18 members. It has a lead role to play in advocacy and promotion of resource mobilization for the Rural Water and Sanitation programs, facilitation of regional and international awareness, inter-governmental coordination, knowledge sharing and peer review and promotion of national and regional monitoring and reporting among others functions.

It will be supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB), which launched the RWSSI in 2003 in a mission to ensure universal access to water and sanitation by 2015 and beyond if governments apply for funds from AfDB’s trust fund basket.

African Development Bank Logo

African Development Bank Logo

For the AfDB, the adoption of the RCC is the only solution that will ensure that rural communities are provided with water and sanitation services, thereby curbing the many water challenges and sanitation hiccups faced in many countries.

While, Malawi and Zambia are said to be struggling according to Water Aid, an international organization and the two respective governments due to lack of investments, Ghana seems to be making positive progress.

The Ghanaian Government has since vowed to continue making provision of safe drinking water and improved sanitation a priority to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) by 2015.

The country, despite its efforts to provide water to both rural and town dwellers, has not managed to achieve the MDG, with just two years to go, something water and sanitation campaigners say need more resources.

Dr Joseph Kwado Asenso from Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning said this during his presentation dubbed ‘Funding Allocations to Rural Water and Sanitation’ at a two-day meeting on rural water supply and sanitation initiative RWSSI held in Tunisia with funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Asenso pointed out that since water and sanitation are two of the key drivers of infrastructure development in Ghana in the medium to long term, government is initiating a sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Project.

He said: “The project is targeted to improve access to water and sanitation for 600 000 people in specific areas through a 5-year 20 000 borehole delivery programme; and peri-urban, rural and small-towns water and sanitation project.”

Water problems in developing countries are acute and complex

Water problems in developing countries are acute and complex

Asenso added that the percentage of population with sustainable access to safe drinking water sources stands at 63.3 for rural areas and 63.4 percent for urban centers, a clear signal that the MDG target has not been met because the required percentage is 70.

“Ghana’s Development Partners have come in strongly to assist Government in the effort to increase access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation. At 79.1 percent, the budget of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing is donor-dependent,” he said.

He further said as part of efforts to address the deficit in water provision in schools, the government has decided, as a priority over the medium term, to ensure that all primary, junior and senior high schools in the country have access to clean and potable water.

“This is why in our sustainable rural water and sanitation project, there will be the drilling of 1 200 new boreholes; rehabilitation of 400 old boreholes; 40 limited mechanised water facilities; and 29 small town systems,” Asenso stated.

To underscore, the fact that Ghana is committed to providing water and tangible services to the rural masses, the Ministry of Finance and the Rural Water and Sanitation Sector have collaborated informally over the years.

“MOF has received a formal invitation to serve on a Committee on Rural Water and Sanitation” Asenso explained.

To this effect, Asenso added voice to the launch of the Regional Coordination Committee (RCC) that will promote, coordinate and lobby for resources issues of rural water supply and sanitation among countries in Africa to achieve the MDG.

Asenso explained: “Need to make the implementation of country commitments to water and sanitation a trigger to the release of donor funds; need for improved sector coordination; need for sector-wide investment plans to rehabilitate and expand distribution networks; need to develop adequate sanitation facilities, among others.”

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

April 2, 2013

Zambia: Government Develops a Holistic National Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Programme

Julius Phiri
April 02, 2013

The government of Zambia has developed a holistic and integrated National Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Programme (NUWSSP) to cover the period 2011 to 2030.

Eastern Province Minister Malozo Sichone says among the targets by the Government in the vision 2030 was to have 80 percent to clean water supply by 2015 and 100 percent by 2030.

The minister was speaking at the commemoration of World Water Day held at Barclays Square in Chipata recently. He noted that up to 68 percent of Zambians should have access to sanitation by 2015 and 90 percent by 2030.

Mr Sichone said the Government has developed the rural water supply programme which focuses on increasing access to clean and safe water in all rural areas of the country under the local authorities.

Water reforms have produced significant impacts on development, including improvements to drinking water access

Water reforms have produced significant impacts on development, including improvements to drinking water access

He said Zambia has one of the highest proportions of urban population of approximately five million out of 13.3 million population.

“In order to service this population adequately, Government set up sector institutions such as National Water and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) to regulate the sector under the water supply and sanitation ACT number 28 of the Laws of Zambia,” he said.

Other institutions include ministry of energy and water resources for water resources management and Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) for environment protection.

In order to invest in water, Mr Sichone said approximately US$ 4.307 billion was required to ensure that Government successfully implement the National Urban and Sanitation Programme which had a target horizon of upto 2030.

He said the Government was currently still finalizing financing mechanisms.

The minister however directed assistant secretary Agness Chinyama to ensure that the Government departments pay the bills to Eastern and Sewerage Company (EWSC) Limited.

Mr Sichone also urged all consumers to pay for their services immediately they receive water bills from the company.

Over 780 million people in the world are still without access to improved sources of drinking water

Over 780 million people in the world are still without access to improved sources of drinking water

Speaking earlier Water Affairs Senior Hydrologist Chizya Mvula said this year’s theme was important as it was challenging everyone to get involved in water management as opposed to leaving it to water entities such as water affairs and Eastern Water and Sewerage Company.

Ms Mvula said water management cuts across all sectors and said there was need for everyone to get involved in order to increase awareness on water cooperation and challenges of freshwater management.

And Company Managing Director Wamuwi Changani commended everyone for get involved in water matters.

April 2, 2013

A Committee to Fuel Access to Water Supply and Sanitation in Africa Launched

Water Journalists Africa, a network of journalists in Africa who report on water and sanitation will represent the media on this committee.

Fredrick Mugira in Tunis
March 27, 2013

The Regional Coordination Committee (RCC) for the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) has been launched in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia.

The committee launched on March 27, 2013 has a lead role to play in advocacy and promotion of resource mobilization for the Rural Water and Sanitation programs, facilitation of regional and international awareness, inter-governmental coordination, knowledge sharing and peer review and promotion of national and regional monitoring and reporting among others functions.

The committee consists of 18 members

The committee consists of 18 members

RWSSI was initiated in 2003 by the African Development Bank with an overall goal of universal access to water supply and sanitation services for the rural populations by 2025 and an immediate target of 80 percent coverage by 2015.

Over 150 experts representing all countries in Africa, as well as RWSSI stakeholders that attended the meeting to launch this committee resolved to have up to 18 members on it.

Participants during the meeting

Participants during the meeting

The committee consists of one representative from African Development Bank, one from African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), five regional representatives from AMCOW -Technical Advisory Committee countries, five other representatives from the ministries of finance/planning in AMCOW -Technical Advisory Committee countries and one from AMCOW secretariat.

Other representatives on this committee include one representative for UN agencies (UN-Water Africa), one representative for donors, one representative for NGOs in Africa, one representative for CSOs in Africa and one representative for the media in Africa. The media will be represented by Water Journalists Africa, a network of journalists in Africa who report on water and sanitation. They are the journalists who bring you water and sanitation stories from across Africa that you read in WaterSan Perspective e-paper.

The meeting resolved that the final structure for the Regional Coordination Committee (RCC) should be in place within three months. The first RCC meeting shall also have to be convened within 6 months from the date on of the committee launch.

The committee was officially launched by Christian G. Herbert, Liberia’s Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Community Services.

Mr Sering Jallow, Director Water and Sanitation Department, African Development Bank (AfDB), (left); Hon Christian Herbert, Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Community Services, Liberia and Mr Bai Mass Tall, the executive secretary of AMCOW (Photo by Babatope Babalopi)

Mr Sering Jallow, Director Water and Sanitation Department, African Development Bank (AfDB), (left); Hon Christian Herbert, Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Community Services, Liberia and Mr Bai Mass Tall, the executive secretary of AMCOW (Photo by Babatope Babalopi)

He highlighted the importance of sustained access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation in effective development of African countries. Christian called for support from governments and increased funding for rural water supply and sanitation in Africa.

In his remarks during the same function, Francois Kruger, the Executive Director, AfDB noted that with no water, there can hardly be any economic development stressing that access to water supply and sanitation are crucial for all.

He petitioned African governments to always have water supply on top of their agendas.

Earlier during deliberations, the participants equated the act of most African governments allocating lots of funds to the health sector and neglecting the water and sanitation sectors to, “treating symptoms instead of causes.” They stressed that most diseases in Africa would be no more by now if the water and sanitation sectors were prioritized and funded well by governments.

Globally, improving water, sanitation and hygiene has the potential to prevent about 10 per cent of the disease burden.

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

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