The Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal Assembly (LEKMA) south cluster of schools has received two Waterhealth centres, 120 household toilets and two institutional toilets jointly provided by the Coca-Cola Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Other communities such as Nsakina and Manhean in the Ga West District of the Greater Accra Region have also benefited from the same facilities.
The Waterhealth centres are structures housing water purification equipment to treat locally available water through sedimentation, pre-filtration and ultra violet technology.
Each centre produces and distributes safe drinking water for a nominal fee and is pumped to additional distribution points and is managed by Waterhealth Ghana which has signed a 10-year contract with the communities to provide ongoing operation, maintenance support and regular quality monitoring. In the Waterhealth centres, community members pay a small usage fee for the water. The funds collected can be used to run and maintain these facilities.
The projects form part of a $ 1.5 million Water and Development Alliance between USAID and the Coca-Cola Company to provide safe, clean drinking water, improved sanitation facilities and hygiene education to 46,000 people in six communities in the Greater Accra and Volta regions.
The Director, Coca-Cola Equatorial Africa Franchise, Mr Phillipe Ayivor, handing over the facilities to the LEKMA cluster of schools, said the biggest challenge that most communities face was lack of funds for operations and maintenance of some of these projects. In view of this, the LEKMA school toilets convert waste into biogas that can be sold to caterers in the school feeding programme.
Another challenge facing the communities, Mr Ayivor mentioned, was lack of knowhow. He said the facilities managers at the schools have been trained on basic maintenance routines for the biogas facilities.
"We are also asking Lekma schools to come to an agreement with Beta Construct for the periodic maintenance of the biogas facilities. For Nsakina and Manhean, the communities have agreed to allow Waterhealth to run the water centres professionally for a period of 10 years," he stated.
In a brief comment Mrs Patricia Alsup, the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission stated the U.S. government was committed to assisting the Ghana government in providing adequate and potable drinking water for the people.
In view of the support Ghana has derived from the U.S. government, there was the need to strengthen the partnership for a comprehensive development in the country.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for the area who doubles as the Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Nii Nortey Duah, expressed gratitude towards the project and said that his ministry had a department that dealt with the WASH sector.
He encouraged the development partners to do more in partnering government in the provision of good sanitation and portable water since government cannot do it alone.