Mr. Chairman, Honourable Ministers, it is with great pleasure that I stand here today to address the 2009 Annual Review Conference of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency. I consider this event as very important for me not only for the fact that it is the first Annual Review Conference I am addressing but also for the fact that within the short time that I took office as Chief Executive of the Agency, this event has afforded me the opportunity to address many of our key stakeholders. I am sure this Review Conference will contribute immensely to my knowledge of the sector. My appeal is that participants should be open minded and let us contribute constructively to help accelerate the progress of water, sanitation and hygiene delivery in our country.
Mr. Chairman, Honourable Ministers, CWSA continued its facilitating role in managing the water and sanitation sub sector in line with the tenets of the National Community Water and Sanitation Program (NCWSP). During the year under review, the Agency initiated steps towards the enactment of Legislative Instrument (LI) to strengthen CWSA and enable it carry out its regulatory functions under the Community Water and Sanitation Agency Act. The CWSA and District Assemblies are the key public sector institutions that have to work together to ensure rapid development of the rural water and sanitation sub sector.
As a new leader for the Agency at this stage of its existence, I will like to state that I have come with an open heart to work with all stakeholders to further improve on access to safe water and better sanitation facilities. My simple policy is hard work and open engagement with the private sector players in the water sector.
INTERNAL ANALYSIS OF CWSA
Mr. Chairman, Honourable Ministers, it is an undeniable fact that the state of affairs within CWSA will have great impact on the overall performance of the sector. I will therefore take the opportunity to provide a brief internal analysis of CWSA.
The Agency continued to depend on the funds from Ghana Government for the recurrent expenditure. Annual budgetary allocations under Item 1 of the MTEF Budget system are provided for the Personnel Emoluments. The budget for Item 1 submitted by CWSA for the year 2009 was GHC2,040,578 but the amount that was released to the Agency was GHC1,990,962. The budget for Item 2 (Administrative Expenses) was GHC2,981,619 and the amount approved by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning was only GH401,575 which resulted in a huge shortfall in the budget for administrative expenses. Consequently, the operations of the Agency were seriously hampered. This financial constraint has affected the progress of the Agency, year after year. It is hoped that the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing will take this matter up with Government for a lasting solution.
Human Resource Issues:
Mr. Chairman, in the year 2009, the Agency managed to recruit a few more staff to increase its staff numbers from 200 to 215. The conditions of service for the Agency, as in a number of public sector organizations needs improvement. The Agency benefited from the general 17% salary increment that was awarded to a cross section of organizations who are paid from the Consolidated Fund. CWSA has a wide range of qualified and experienced staff who should be incentivized adequately to continue working for the Agency.
Non-Human Resource Issues:
CWSA continued to deploy other resources available to the Agency for its operations. The major areas of concern with respect to such resources are vehicles and office accommodation for some of the regions. The vehicle stock of the Agency is mainly funded from Project funds; so where there is no project running in a particular region, then there is no assurance of reliable vehicles for the operations of the Agency. The high cost of vehicle maintenance due to the over aged nature of many of the Agencys fleet, especially at the Head Office is still a major challenge.
Construction of a new regional office for the Agency in Takoradi is ongoing and significant progress was made during the year under review. This has been made possible with financial support from the European Union under the Small Towns Water and Sanitation Project for Western and Central Regions. Plans are far advanced for the construction of a new office premises for the Brong Ahafo region at Sunyani with financial support from the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) under the Peri-Urban, Rural and Small Town Water Supply and Sanitation Project in the Brong Ahafo region.
SECTOR PERFORMANCE FOR THE YEAR 2009
Mr. Chairman, the Agency during the year under review carried out its facilitating activities towards the attainment of specific targets that were agreed upon with the State Enterprises Commission (SEC) under the Performance Contract that was signed with Government. Consequently, the performance of the Agency in relation to the set targets are as follows:
- A total of 588 boreholes were constructed and installed with pumps as against a target of 700, which translates into 84% of the target. Additional 40 boreholes that were planned to be rehabilitated were carried out giving 100% achievement.
- A total of 17 new hand dug wells were constructed and pumps installed as against a target of 10. It must be mentioned that the demand for hand dug wells have gone down considerably.
- Six (6) new small communities piped systems were completed as against a target of 5.
- Eighteen (18) small towns piped systems were completed as against a target of 45.
- A total of 3,311 household VIP latrines were constructed as against a target of 4,600. In addition, 1,153 household KVIP latrines were constructed.
- A further 323 schools/institutional latrines were completed compared with a target of 350.
- A total of 181 Water Boards trained against a target of 143. In addition, 577 WATSAN Committees and 862 Pump Caretakers were trained.
- A total of 678 new communities joined the program compared with a target of 103.
- A total of 100 Area Mechanics and 76 Small Towns Operators were also trained.
Mr. Chairman, as a result of this steady progress made during the year under review and previous years, the national coverage for rural water now stands at 58.97%.
Status of On-going Projects
Mr. Chairman, Honourable Ministers, there are a number of on-going projects which is being facilitated by the Agency. A brief synopsis of the status of some of the key project interventions is as follows:
- The EU/GOG funded Small Towns Water and Sanitation Project for the construction of 39 small towns water systems in the Western and Central Regions is in the testing phase and will be completed by June 2010.
- The Small Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Project funded by the IDA and GoG in Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Western, Central, Upper East and Upper West regions was almost completed at the end of the year under review. The Project has formally ended in April this year pending some minor mopping up activities.
- The AFD/GOG assisted Water and Sanitation Project in the Brong Ahafo progressed steadily during the year. The Project was formally launched in Sunyani and District orientations have been carried out in the beneficiary districts as well as selection of beneficiary communities The TA Consultant has been on the ground and initial preparatory contracts for Hydrogeological studies have been awarded.
- The DANIDA/GoG assisted District Based Water and Sanitation Component under the Water Sector Program Support Phase II in the Greater Accra, Eastern, Volta and Central Regions, which was supposed to have formally ended in December 2008 had some delayed Projects completed during the year under review.
- The DANIDA/GoG assisted Local Service Delivery and Governance Program formally took off during the year under review with the last launching of the Program in Greater Acccra in September 2009. The participating regions are Greater Accra, Eastern, Volta, Central and Northern. The Program is however anchored at the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
- The ADB/GOG Project in Ashanti region also made steadily progress with drilling of about 400 boreholes and construction about 1,500 household latrines.
- The KFW/GoG Project in the Ashanti region is still on-going with drilling activities carried out during the year under review. The sanitation component of the Project was completed in 2009.
- The CIDA/GOG funded Northern Region Small Towns Project (NORST) was formally launched in 2009. The Project which initially had very little CWSA involvement has made some modifications to involve the CWSA regional office.
The major challenges facing the Agency continued to be:
Financial constraints; inadequate budgetary support from Government to meet the administrative expenses of the Agency.
- Numerous missions from Donor Agencies putting so much strain on the staff of the Agency.
- The procurement challenges due to difficulties relating to getting the Entity Tender Committee to approve evaluation reports.
- Failure of some District Assemblies to comply with Project requirements affected disbursements and project implementation.
OUTLOOK FOR 2010
The theme for this year is on Monitoring and Evaluation for Sustainable Delivery of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion. We should be able to develop new ideas to make our monitoring and evaluation more effective. No one can downplay the importance of monitoring and evaluation as it relates to the sustainability of the facilities that we are providing.
The Agency has negotiated the Performance Contract with the State Enterprises Commission for 2010. The agreed targets for this year have taken into account the critical activities or milestones that should be done before the final completion of a particular water or sanitation facilities. These milestones will be measured separately to reflect the effort the Agency is making with respect to its facilitating activities.
- Construction of 1645 boreholes fitted with hand pumps
- Rehabilitation of 60 boreholes fitted with hand pumps
- Construction of 20 new hand dug wells with hand pumps
- Construction of a total of 40 new small communities piped systems
- Construction of 42 small towns piped systems and rehabilitation of two (2) others
- Extension of pipe connections to 31 communities
- Construction of 15 rainwater catchment systems
- Construction of 1,830 household VIP latrines
- Construction of 1,163 household KVIP latrines
- Construction of 242 Institutional KVIP latrines
- Training of 1,073 WATSAN Committees
- Training of 71 WSDBs
- Training of 1,935 Pump Caretakers
- Training of 32 Area Mechanics
Mr. Chairman, Honourable Ministers, CWSA Management and staff are aware of the critical role we have to play in achieving the Governments Better Ghana Agenda. We would work hard and endeavour to achieve our set targets. I wish to reiterate that we would pursue a policy of transparency. We would strive to build consensus through open engagement and constructive exchange of ideas. Sustainability of facilities is our watch word and so we will intensify our monitoring and evaluation activities so as to achieve this goal.
Thank you and God bless us all.