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Low-income residents of the Ghanaian capital, Accra suffering from frequent cholera and flooding will soon experience some relief.
The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF) on Tuesday, March 29, 2017 approved a loan of approximately US $ 49 million to the Government of Ghana to increase access to safe and sustainable sanitation and facilitate income generation support for urban and peri-urban poor residents of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA).
Cholera outbreaks in the GAMA in recent years have been directly attributed to poor environmental sanitation and management of wastewater. Frequent flooding resulting in part from the changing climate is often followed by cholera outbreaks affecting the urban poor the most.
"Together with the Government of Ghana and the participating Municipalities, the Bank will work with communities to eliminate cholera outbreaks, improve the livelihood of millions of people and enhance the quality of life of Ghanaians," says Osward Chanda, Officer-in-Charge of the Water Development and Sanitation Department of the AfDB.
The project will directly benefit 1.9 million people through improved sanitation, environmental and social conditions, and livelihoods improvements through skills development and access to micro finance.
The Bank is promoting an innovative and an integrated approach to delivering urban sanitation programs in the main cities of Africa. In Accra, this project combines both solid and liquid waste management, ensuring the safe collection, treatment, transportation, and reuse of the by-products to improve GAMA environmental conditions.
"This innovative approach to delivering sanitation programs is central to our long-term objectives of achieving improved health, environmental, and social outcomes as called for in the Ngor Declaration on Sanitation and Hygiene, the Bank’s High 5 priorities, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The approach not only views solid and liquid waste as resources but also as economic and income-generation activities capable of lifting urban dwellers out of poverty," Chanda added.
Building climate-resilient communities and taking on low-emission growth paths is at the core of the growth and development agenda of Ghana. This project recognizes challenges linked to climate change and has taken measures to adapt and mitigate the impacts. Such measures, focused on minimizing as well as proofing the sanitation facilities against the negative climate impacts, include incorporation of sustainable drainage systems within the cell and capping systems, siting of the facilities within areas not susceptible to extreme weather conditions and using innovative climate proof components in the design of both onsite and offsite sustainable sanitary facilities. The project is also expected to have positive effects on climate through methane gas capture.
With over 52 percent of the population of Accra made up of women, the project aims to specifically empower women and girls through investments and development programs.
The Greater Accra Sustainable Sanitation and Livelihoods Improvement Project is building on the achievements of the earlier Bank-funded Accra Sewerage Improvement Project (ASIP) which ended in 2016 increasing the coverage and effectiveness of sewerage service delivery in participating areas of Accra. Lessons of the previous project has informed the efficient, effective and sustainable design of the new intervention.