Two hundred Zongo communities in six regions are to benefit from an E-WASH project under which toilet facilities, water systems and hygiene education will be provided.
This is after the Zongo and Inner- City Development Secretariat had entered into an agreement with the Global Communities-Ghana, an international NGO, to implement the USAID’s Enhancing Water Sanitation and Hygiene (E-WASH) activity.
The Chief Director at the Office of the President, Mr. Henry Wood, signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on behalf of the Zongo and Inner-City Development Secretariat, while the Country Director of Global Communities-Ghana, Mr. Alberto Wilde, initialed for his agency.
Under the MoU, Global Communities-Ghana and ZICDS will select communities based on their Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) need in collaboration with key stakeholders including Members of Parliament, MMDCE’s and other opinion leaders.
In his remarks, Mr Wilde said the E-WASH is a five-year rural WASH project supported by the USAID which was awarded to an 11-member consortium with Global Communities-Ghana as lead implementer in September 2021.
He said the goal of the E-WASH activity was to accelerate sustainable improvement in sanitation and access to water and ensure improved hygiene behaviour in targeted districts of the Northern, Upper East, Upper West, North East, Savannah and Oti regions.
“Throughout the five-year period, the project will partner the government of Ghana to enhance governance in planning for WASH delivery services, and strengthen sustainable WASH financing, improve private sector engagement, and accelerate the adoption of convenient and safe WASH behaviours”, he said.
On his part, Mr Wood noted that Zongo and Inner-City Development Secretariat (ZICDS) used to be a ministry, and indicated that it was because of the importance that the President attached to the development of Zongo communities and inner cities that he brought ZICDS strictly under his purview.
He lauded Global Communities for for the partnership in contributing to the development of the country.
He said the government was proud that Global Communities had partnered ZICDS for the E-WASH project to improve living conditions in Zongos and inner cities and urged other agencies to come on board to support the development efforts in Zongo communities and inner cities.
“We all know the current situation in Zongo communities and inner cities. We will be grateful if other agencies will also come on board to help achieve the President’s objective for the secretariat”, he urged.
Mr Wood said the government was happy that the concentration of the project was in the Northern Region, where a lot of efforts were underway to improve standard of living.
He assured Global Communities of the support of the presidency, ZICDS and the Municipal and District Assemblies in the execution of the projects.
The Coordinator of the Zongo and Inner Cities Development Secretariat, Mr Ben Abdallah Banda, welcomed the partnership which he said was a catalyst to enhance the living standards of Zongo dwellers with respect to WASH activities.
He was of the view that such partnerships had the tendency of helping government and its quasi agencies such as the Zongo Development Fund (ZoDF, to reduce challenges government alone could not shoulder.
Mr Banda reiterated the need for other development-orientated organisations to come on board to help champion the development aspirations of the Communities in meeting the targets for the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Day in day out and year in, year out, the government of the day pumps in a lot of money into drilling mechanised boreholes and also making sure that the people have access to hospitals, the sanitary conditions of the people are better, so that at the end of the day, the living conditions of the people are also better.
That’s exactly what the MoU is intended to achieve”.
In his contribution, the CEO of Zongo Development Fund, Obrempong Dr Arafat Sulemana Abdulai, said the Fund had already executed a greater number of projects in the areas of sanitation and water provisions.
He mentioned the construction of toilet facilities and mechanized water systems as some of the projects.
Obrempong Dr Arafat said the MoU would give a push to the work of ZoDF towards improving the living conditions in Zongos.