CWSA, MSWR Tasked To Make Provisions In New CWSA Reform Bill Which Is Currently Before Parliament

According to them, the new CWSA law should create an enabling environment to strengthen the private sector to lead initiatives for the delivery of WASH services to achieve government’s agenda of job creation and Local Economic Development

CWSA, MSWR Tasked To Make Provisions In New CWSA Reform Bill Which Is Currently Before Parliament
Participants in this year's Mole XXXIII Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Conference which was themed: Ghana’s Commitment to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): Connecting Systems to Bridge the Service Delivery Gaps have called on the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) and the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR) to make specific provisions in the new CWSA reform bill currently before parliament.

According to them, the new CWSA law should create an enabling environment to strengthen the private sector to lead initiatives for the delivery of WASH services to achieve government’s agenda of job creation and Local Economic Development.
This call was contained in a two page communique issued at the end of this year's Mole XXXIII WASH Conference organised by the Coalition of Non-Governmental Organisation in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) and partners from October 31, 2022 to November 4, 2022 held at Elmina Beach Resort in the Central Region.

The Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), enjoins member countries, including Ghana to provide at all times clean water and sustainable sanitation facilities for its citizens and also ensure the availability and sustainable management of its water resources.
The SGD 6 aligns with Government of Ghana’s vision for the sector, enshrined in the Water Sector Strategic Development Plan (WSSDP), expressed as ‘all people living in Ghana have access to adequate, safe, affordable, reliable and sustainable water services, and practice safe sanitation and hygiene’.

In line with meeting the requirements of the SDG 6 and national commitments for water and sanitation, CWSA, in 2017, initiated policy reforms in the Rural Water and Sanitation Sub-sector to change the existing Community Management Model to professionalized management of water supply services. 
The change in policy was triggered by recommendations by stakeholders and available research findings which point to the fact that the Community Management Model is not efficient enough to ensure the sustainable management of water supply infrastructure which government has committed so much investments into providing.

As part of the reforms, a cabinet memo was submitted to Cabinet by the sector ministry to  consider and grant policy approval towards the amendment of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency Act, 1998 (Act 564) to transform the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) into a utility service organization, with focus on application of innovation and professional skills to achieve sustainability.
However, the communique noted that the annual Mole WASH Conference is a CSO-led multi-stakeholder platform aimed at reviewing sector performance, influencing policies, removing barriers, and promoting access to sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene services. 
It stated that the the 5-day conference was opened by Deputy Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources,  Mr Issahaku Chinia  with solidarity messages from the World Bank Country Director, Mr. Pierre Laporte, Executive Secretary of the Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA), Ms. Ama Ofori Antwi and the 2022/23 Child Sanitation Diplomat, Miss Maame Akua Ohenewaa Gyimah. 
It asserted that the opening session of the conference was chaired by representative of Chief of Nana Kodjo Konduah IV, Omanhene of Edina Traditional Council, Elmina. 
The ranking and deputy ranking members of Parliament Works and Housing Committee attended conference. The theme address was delivered by the Water Aid West Africa Regional Director, Dr. Abdul-Nashiru Mohammed. 
The communique pointed out that the conference, which discussed five sub-themes – Areawide Approaches in WASH Service Delivery; Multi-stakeholder Partnerships in WASH Service Delivery; Innovative WASH Financing; Shared Accountability for WASH Services Delivery and Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning in WASH Service Delivery. 
It contended that the conference was attended by one hundred and twenty-one 180 participants drawn from Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Development Partners, CSOs, NGOs, CBOs, FBOs, Academic and Research Institutions, Private Sector and the Media attended the conference. 
According to the communique the Conference commended MSWR on the strides made on Sector Information System (SIS). 

However, it mentioned that  the conference stressed the need for the MWSR to fast track baseline data collection in all 261 MMDAs to feed into the SIS and roll out by July,2023. 
In this regard, the communique indicated that the CONIWAS members in the districts are ready to support the baseline data collection between January and November 2023.
It indicated that the CONIWAS would consciously work to strengthen WASH Systems by deliberately demonstrating linkages between relevant system building blocks in all projects and ongoing sector reforms. 

It mentioned that the CONIWAS will partner with some INGOs to provide capacity building/training on System Strengthening building to members by November,2023.
The communiques maintained that the
CONIWAS would build on the unique opportunity for engaging Parliamentary Select Committee on Works and Housing to promote budgetary allocations to related sectors of WASH, Health, and Education through cross-sectoral and system strengthening approaches. 
It said CONIWAS will continuously play advocacy role with Ministry of Finance to ensure timely and adequate release of allocated funds.
It mentioned that the conference recognizes the urgent need to strengthen enforcement of regulations and accountability on Institutional WASH (health, education, and prisons) at all levels.
"We call on Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Interior to demonstrate active leadership and prioritize the provision of, and enforce standards WASH standards in all health care facilities, basic and secondary schools by November,2023," it said

The communique noted that the Conference further calls on MSWR to expedite action towards establishing the National Sanitation Authority and the National Sanitation Fund.
It said other innovative financing like revolving funds that can offer low interest loans needs to expand to support poor households. 
It added that the CONIWAS will continue its advocacy (including lobbying) on the NSA and submit report to conference by November,2023.
The communique called on Ministry of Finance and MSWR to take immediate steps to develop a framework for managing the Sanitation and Pollution Levy (SPL).

It stressed that the Ministry of Finance should take immediate measures to render account of inflows and disbursements made on the SPL.
It noted that the  CONIWAS would continue to engage Parliamentary Select Committee and Ministry of Finance on the SPL between January,2023 and November,2023.
It said the role of the Private Sector in WASH System Strengthening agenda is indispensable.