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World Bank& GoG SRWSP faces serious challenge in the N/R


Efforts by Ghana government and its donor partners in alleviating the plight of rural people are facing serious individual lackadaisical attitudes and institutional failures challenges in the northern region.

The region over the years was blessed with numerous social interventions by governments geared at cushioning the people against poverty and deprivation. One of such interventions was the almighty Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) which has its own administrative issues now.

The region is also leading the number of NGOs in Ghana. It seems to me that some people in our beloved region are not just interested in fighting against the enemy of northern Ghana; poverty and underdeveloped.  

Some academicians and technocrats sat somewhere in Ghana and came out with this laudable project called Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation project (SRWSP).

The World Bank saw the importance of the project and gave their support to the tune of $75 million to support fourteen (14) districts out 20 districts in the northern region.

The 77.34 million World Bank loan project is expected to provide over 600,000 rural people in 54 districts, in six regions of Ghana. The beneficiary regions include the Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Central and Western regions. 

The World Bank is providing $75 million of the funding, while the Ghana government is also adding $2.34 million for the five-year project.

But the project from all indications are likely to fail or makes little impact on beneficiaries in the northern region if donors and implementing agencies such as Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) and the northern regional coordinating council do not put pragmatic measures in place.

 This is because information flows between contractors, consultants and the district assemblies are in a state of dilemma and is creating acrimony among assemblies and contractors. As a member of Ghana Water and Sanitation Journalists Network, I was extremely surprised that the project has no communication unit or specialist attached to it.

After two to three months of being awarded contracts to construct KIVPs and boreholes in rural communities, some contractors are yet to go to site to start excavation.

Presentation after presentation by consultants at a stakeholder’s meeting on progress of KVIP latrine construction in the northern region, held in one of the most expensive Hotel in Tamale, Modern City hotel, one thing was clear, all contractors engaged in the project have not reach 50 percent of work progress as at 15 April 2014.

Most of the contractors attributed the delay to challenges such as land issue, relocations of site, watering nature of some sites and stoning nature of some areas.

Unclear communication, preparing documents towards release of funds by contractors and representation of people at site meetings among the implementing partners was also identified as some of the key issues hampering the project in the northern region. The question is how on earth a big project such as SRWSP will engulf with this pity and simple administrative problems.

The issue of whether contractors should communicate directly with either project consultants or the assemblies also remains unclear among the SRWSP partners in the region. But some of the districts were angry in hearing the contractor’s excuses.

District engineer for Kumbugu, Michael Opong said assembly doesn’t want to see the contractor because as he put it ’’he is embarrassing them’’ and that they want CWSA to abrogate the contract.  Work in Kumbugu was about 7-10% according to the consultant. The district has already written to CWSA on the lukewarm attitude of the contractor.

As I sat through the moratorium meeting in one of the best Hotel in Tamale, I get the feeling that due diligence, competency and capacity to execute the project was lacking among the local contractors and I asked myself again what assessment was done and by who before the award of the contract?

The excuses were in series running through almost all the contractors of the 14 districts beneficiary districts.  the World Bank and government of Ghana project while the rural people continue to suffer in search for potable drinking water and place of convenience. It is not surprising that about 72 %of people in the northern region still practicing open defecation. 

A power point presentation by the consultants reveals that most contractors either to start work or yet to move to the project site. When the Kumbugu district was called to give an account of progress of work and why they are still excavation level, the district engineer for kumbugu became upset about the contractor. Let’s hear the chair person of the meeting roll call of consultant’s, contractors and responses.

A representative of Manduri district who was also not happy about numerous flimsy excuses urged consultants to do due diligence bearing in mind that their reputations are at stake. He also urged contractors to take workers at the various district assemblies very serious.

By:Ibrahim Dikunyalala/


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