Tema Metropolitan Assembly, Aarhus (Denmark) and Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) have entered Phase II of their Strategic Sector Cooperation (SSC) on Urban Water project. The second phase of the project, from 2024 to 2026, being implemented in Tema, will boost water delivery and improve sanitation in the metropolitan city. The first phase, from 2020 to 2022, witnessed the signing of a MoU between GWCL, TMA and Aarhus in June 2019 to enhance safe and sustainable water supply and wastewater treatment in Tema. The overall objective of the cooperation is to improve wastewater management, reduce Non-Revenue Water (NRW) and make the city of Tema climate friendly and resilient. As a further step and strategy to reducing NRW, the project will help increase the level of financial and technical sustainable drinking water services in Tema and its environs. It envisions a long-term plan and strengthening institutional settings, organisational structures, capacities, skills and procedures for sustainable and climate resilient urban wastewater management. The Danish city of Aarhus, Aarhus Vand (the water utility company in Aarhus), TMA and GWCL have collaborated on the SSC in Urban Water since 2019. Denmark has been active in Ghana’s water sector through many decades of development cooperation as well as commercial collaboration. Mr Tom Nørring, the Ambassador of Denmark to Ghana, speaking at the signing of Phase II of the SSC project at his residence in Accra, said Ghana faced several challenges in stable water delivery, non-revenue water and wastewater management where Danish solutions, technologies and experience were making a difference. He said Denmark worked with a range of actors and instruments in the water sector focusing on partnerships and expanding the commercial collaboration between Denmark and Ghana towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG6) on Clean Water and Sanitation. The Ambassador said the relationship between Ghana and Denmark had been long-standing but changed focus as Ghana achieved middle income status and was no longer eligible for traditional development cooperation from Denmark. Mr Nørring reiterated that Denmark had not ‘abandoned’ Ghana as it had found new ways of cooperation and partnership such as the Strategic Sector Cooperation not only in water and sanitation, but maritime, statistics, meteorology, and climate. ‘We are assisting Ghana to achieve the SDGs through mutual partnerships. In addition, we have considerably increased our commercial relations with Ghana,’ he said. Dr Freda Prempeh, Minister, Sanitation and Water Resources said expressed optimism that SSC on Urban Water would achieve its target of reducing non-revenue water in Tema from the current 45 per cent to seven per cent over 10 years. The Mayor of the city of Aarhus, Jacob Bundsgaard, who is on a three-day visit to Ghana as part of the cooperation, said a lot had been achieved by the City of Aarhus and Tema since the partnership. ‘This is an equal partnership, and one of the things that we have experienced on our end is that your ability to create new and innovative solutions on some of the issues that we are also dealing with, we can take straight back home and implement in our water utility company.’ He commended the GWCL for implementating the e-billing system, saying ‘the use of your mobile technology and the skills that you represent in this area is something that we can use directly’. Accompanied by the Chief Executive Officer of Aarhus Vand, Karina Topp and other officials from the Aarhus Municipality, Mayor Bundsgaard urged the parties to ensure the full implementation of the agreement to achieve the desire results of making a difference in the life of citizens in Tema and Aarhus. Dr Braimah Clifford, Managing Director, GWCL, said the company had made strides in the first phase of the project, dealing with NRW hither affecting revenue generation. He noted that with the interventions introduced as a result of the partnership through technology, there had been a significant improvement in detection, monitoring and management of NRW challenges and increasing the efficiency of water distribution systems. Mr Yohane Amarh Ashitey, the Mayor of Tema, said the first phase of the project had enhanced the Assembly’s Standard Operating Procedures deployed in its sanitation and wastewater management drive, including the exposure to Geographic Information Systems tools for effective planning and preventive maintenance. ‘Sanitation has improved in Tema, and we owe it to this cooperation,’ the Tema Major emphasised.
Source: Ghana News Agency