On Thursday May 24, 2018, the Community Water and Sanitation Agency(CWSA) made history when the Head Office signed its maiden Performance Contracts with the ten Regional Offices for the year 2018. All ten regional offices had prior to the signing developed their performance indicators for the year 2018 which they negotiated with Management and the Board at the Head Office. The regions’ performance appraisal at the end of the contract period, will be based on three broad areas namely: Income and Expenditure Indicators, Administrative and Management Indicators, Technical and Operational Indicators. Regions will then be ranked according to their performance and rewarded accordingly.
The historic event which took place in Accra at the Angie Hill Hotel in East Legon, was attended by the CWSA Board of Directors, Senior Staff from the Head office, all Regional Directors and their teams from the ten regions. The signing ceremony was chaired by the Chairman of the CWSA Board, Mr. Kwesi Aduafo Yankey.
Speaking on the rationale for taking this bold step, the Chief Executive, ING. Worlanyo Siabi, explained that the CWSA was undertaking reforms towards providing better quality and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services to its constituents in rural communities and small towns in Ghana. He recalled that, CWSA, at its 2017 Review Conference in Ashanti region where participants deliberated on the performance and future of the Agency, took the decision to participate in the management of piped water supply systems nationwide on a pilot basis with the aim of assuming direct responsibility for the management of all its small towns piped systems by the end of 2019. This, he said, was not only ambitious but would require heavy capital injection into the sub-sector for rehabilitation of broken down systems, the construction of new ones and capacity building of staff to prepare them adequately for the execution of an expanded mandate. Consequently, the Agency, within the next four years plans to raise at least, one hundred and five (GHC105) million Ghana Cedis, internally to support its reform agenda.
The Chief Executive explained further that CWSA as a Public Service Organisation has signed the 2018 performance bond with the government and is expected to deliver on its targets especially towards meeting goal six of the SDGs in water and sanitation.
Also, as a result of the reforms, the Agency has taken the necessary steps to modify its performance indicators and targets to reflect the new vision of CWSA becoming the leading Public Sector Water Service Delivery Organisation in Africa. It is in this light, he said, that the Agency has committed itself towards the signing of performance contracts with all CWSA Regional Offices. The Chief Executive expressed great optimism for the success of the reforms programme adding that, “we will focus on achieving the SDGs, reducing non-revenue water to 25% and hitting 100% water coverage for communities where CWSA is in charge. We will employ new technology, innovation, discipline and will depend on God to achieve these outcomes”. He expressed his gratitude to the regional directors and their teams for responding with enthusiasm the invitation to commit to the tasks ahead by signing the performance contracts. He also thanked the Board Chairman and members for their leadership.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the CWSA Board of Directors, Mr. Kwesi Aduafo Yankey welcomed staff to the signing ceremony on behalf of the Board. He encouraged the Agency to set itself the highest of goals and to work very hard to achieve them. He said in executing the contracts just signed, if the regions are able to achieve even 70% of the targets they have set themselves at the end of the contract period, they should pad themselves on the back for a great effort made. Touching on the role of the Board, the Chairman assured the staff that the Board will do its part of giving the strategic guidance for the Agency to achieve its set targets. He said water and electricity have been prioritized by government as topmost needs of the rural poor and CWSA should strive to deliver its mandate of providing safe water for rural communities. The Board Chairman also bemoaned the poor quality of water some NGOs in collaboration with their financiers are providing for rural communities, the consumption of which is having adverse effects on their health especially children. He tasked CWSA to take a critical look at water quality issues and make sure that all those involved in water delivering in the sector conform to the Agency’s standards.
Speaking on the reforms the Agency has embarked on, Mr. Yankey encouraged CWSA staff to read all the documents on the reforms and be abreast with the new vision and mission of the Agency. He requested that the Agency should immediately and thoroughly engage all stakeholders, District Assemblies and the general public on the reforms to ensure understanding, buy-in and the necessary support. Touching on the SDGs and the role of the CWSA, the Board Chairman said, “You seriously have to understand what the Sustainable Development Goals are, what our role in the Goal 6 is, and make sure that we help in the achievement of that goal”. He again charged the staff to work hard in order to deliver the mandate of the Agency and to provide safe water for rural dwellers.
He also asked the Agency to embark on the construction of the 23, 000 toilet facilities which the government has earmarked for rural communities in order to stall open defecation and to improve sanitation in the country. The Board Chairman was unhappy that Ghana was third from the bottom on the ladder of open defecation free in Africa and entreated the Agency to improve the lives and standard of living of rural people by providing them with adequate and sustainable water and sanitation facilities. He then threw a challenges to the CWSA regions in the execution of the contracts they have signed, promising that the region with the best performance will be rewarded with an amount of ten thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC10,000.00) which he will personally provide.