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COMMUNITY WATER AND SANITATION AGENCY (CWSA) MARKS  25TH ANNIVERSARY

The Western North Regional Directorate of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency joined the national office and other Regional Offices of the Agency to launch their 25th Anniversary with a float from the Sefwi Wiawso Municipal Office, through the principal street of Sefwi Wiawso and ended at the Regional Office of the Agency located at Tanoso in the Sefwi Wiawso Municipality.

In an address by the Regional Director, Ing. Sarfo Affum, he recalled the since the launch of the National Community Water and Sanitation Programme (NCWSP) in 1994, and the establishment of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) in 1998, significant achievements have been made in water provision, basic sanitation services, hygiene promotion and practice in communities and reported that the provision of water infrastructure stands at 31,388 boreholes fitted with handpumps, 383 boreholes fitted with solar-powered handpumps, 3,997 hand-dug wells fitted with handpumps, 1924 pipe systems (classified under limited mechanized systems, community pipe systems and large-scale pipe systems).

He further indicated that, investments have increased water coverage in rural communities and towns from about 24% in 1990 to 62.63% in 2022 and lamented that, access to sanitation is regrettably low as a result of several factors, which include low funding, multiple supervising roles of Ministries and Agencies, non-enforcement of sanitation related laws and general indiscipline of the citizenry on environmental matters and mentioned that in the past  the 25 years, CWSA has facilitated the installation of 82,309 household improved latrines and 5,221 institutional latrines.

He further referenced the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS 2017-2018) and reported that Sanitation coverage remains stagnant over several years at about 21%, with open defecation (OD) still remains higher than 60% in some regions.

Providing update of the Status of achievement of the CWSA reforms on the Western North Region, the Regional Director, informed all stakeholders present that, the implementation of the CWSA 2017 Reforms in the Region has yielded notable improvements in water service delivery and coverage and cited the Sefwi Wiawso-Amafie, Nsawora, and Yakase Pipe Water Systems were the first 3no. water systems to be managed by the Western North Regional office of the CWSA and attributed the state to the urgent need for substantial rehabilitation and repairs and the settlement of huge ECG legacy debts of these water systems, leading to their handover from the WSMT and District Assemblies to CWSA.

He further reported that, building on the successes achieved, other Municipal and District Chief Executives recognized the positive outcomes and invited them to sensitize them about the reforms and cited stakeholder engagement and consultation session at the Bia West District Assembly in June 2021 paved the way for the successful handover of the Elluokrom, Kwame Tawiakrom, and Essam Debiso Pipe Water Systems to CWSA on July 1st, 2022. This takeover was necessitated by various challenges, including technical production issues, expansion gaps, water quality concerns, outstanding salaries for staff and vendors, and substantial ECG legacy debts.

Despite these challenges, the takeover by CWSA has proven beneficial, with improvements in infrastructure and supply of reliable, safe and affordable water services. The Enchi Pipe Water System, handed over by the Municipal Chief Executive of the Aowin Municipality, traditional authorities, the Enchi Water Board, and the Enchi Pipe Water Management and Sanitation Team on February 1st, 2022, is a testament to this. The handover was necessitated by the breakdown of four (4) boreholes, causing a water crisis in the Municipal Capital, Enchi. After the takeover, CWSA undertook major repairs, including the restoration of two boreholes, repair of two control panels, and installation of efficient pumps, significantly improving service delivery.

He concluded that, inspite of the challenges is currently managing seven (7) Pipe Water Systems, namely, Oseikojokrom, Essam/Debiso, Adjoafua / Kwame Tawiakrom, Asempanaye /Elluokrom, Sefwi Wiawso/Amafie, Nsawora, and Enchi/Yakase Pipe Water Systems in the Region and that with the introduction of the CWSA billing software the billing processes is ensuring transparency and reducing the likelihood of billing errors. This software also provides customers with real-time updates on payments and billing information via SMS and also expressed his gratitude to the Hon Regional Minister and the Chief Director and other heads of departments and Institutions, traditional authorities and other stakeholders for their commitment, tireless efforts, and dedication to the noble cause of ensuring access to clean water and sanitation for all communities in the Region and pray for their continuous support in the years ahead.

dedication to the noble cause of ensuring access to clean water and sanitation for all communities in the Region and pray for their continuous support in the years ahead.

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