The participants after the programme
The participants after the programme

 The World Bank and its partners into the provision of toilets for schools in the country have raised concerns about the sustainability or maintenance of the facilities.

It is feared they would not be willing to support the projects if commitment was not shown to ensure the facilities were properly maintained to live the test of time.

The project, being executed by the Great­er Accra and Kumasi Metropolitan Assem­blies’ Sanitation and Water Project (GAMA/GKMA) of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, is about to hand over 129 toilet facilities in the GKMA.

But, according to the Project Coordina­tor, George Asiedu, the World Bank and its partners could pull out because “they cannot sink huge money into projects that cannot be sustained”.

He was speaking to the Ghanaian Times here, during an emergency meeting on “knowledge sharing forum on operation and maintenance of school Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities here on Wednes­day.

Participants included head teachers, chair­persons of Parents Association, officials from the Ghana Water Company, members of the school management committees of all the beneficiary schools, from Kumasi and Accra.

They were expected to share perspectives of how they intended to implement their Facility Management Plans towards the maintenance of the toilet facilities.

According to Mr Asiedu, the World Bank and the partners “are always willing to sup­port to even scale up the facilities to ensure Ghana is counted among the few countries that have reached the Sustainable Develop­ment Goal (SDG) 6, but their concerns are our commitment to maintain them”.

He urged the participants “to look within yourselves how to handle the situation…you do these at your homes and so it should not be difficult to take action to maintain the facilities”.

The Project Coordinator intimated that the government was committed to achieving the SDG6 by providing toilet facilities to all and sundry “but we need to ensure the facili­ties provided stand the test of time”.

Ms Charlotte Adjei Marfo, Capacity Building and Training Coordinator of the GAMA project of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, mentioned that the Ministry had come up with a ‘Sustainability Paper’ to guide the government and other stakeholders as to how to maintain the toilet facilities.

She indicated that there had been a special engagement with the Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service and the whole WASH sector towards the maintenance of the toilet facilities, “because we can’t contin­ue to provide facilities and two/three years down the line, the facilities are abandoned for lack of maintenance”.

Ms Marfo expressed grave concern about the way some community members hijacked the toilets in schools that have not been fenced.

It is recalled that the Ministry of Sanita­tion and Water Resources, on November 19, 2021, launched the GKMA-SWP project as part of the government’s determination to providing pragmatic measures to find a lasting solution to the water and sanitation problems in the country.

The World Bank-funded project is ex­pected to construct 30,000 household toilet facilities in the GKMA before the close of the project in December 2024, with the bio-digester toilet system being the main containment technology.

In Kumasi, the project is being imple­mented in eight Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies (MMAs)-Asokwa, Oforikrom, Old Tafo, Suame, Kwadaso, Asokore Mampong Municipal Assembly, Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) and Ejisu Municipality.