Assessing The Challenges Of Managing Development Projects In Rural Communities In Ghana
ASSESSING THE CHALLENGES OF MANAGING DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS IN RURAL COMMUNITIES IN GHANA
The rural communities in Ghana are comprised of families that have only relied solely for their water supply from the dug-wells, ponds, dug-outs, streams and springs and rain water. Unfortunately, most of these water sources are contaminated that caused many households to have water-borne diseases which is very common in the rural communities in the region. Apparently, the major challenges that the Ghana government has been facing today is how to improve the conditions of many families in rural areas in terms of water supply and sanitation in the environment, especially on how to implement an efficient utilization of ground water in order to supply all the rural residents with clean and safe potable water. As a result their government has designed and implemented an effective management of aquifers, hand-dug wells and boreholes to be able to utilize safely the ground water source for it is the cheapest source of drinking water due to the dispersed nature of the rural residents. At present, there are about 52 percent of the rural inhabitants that are using potable water through groundwater sources. It is an objective of the Ghana government that by 2020, bigger budget will be approved which is about 1 billion dollars for the total completion of the clean and safe drinking water sources for all inhabitants in all rural communities in Ghana.
However, small and informal community based organizations (CBOs) are providing various community services for the development of rural community projects; they were the one who initiated different community development for water supply and sanitation in the rural areas. In addition, these volunteered groups can be used as channels to further disseminate information and acquire other resources required to alleviate the living conditions in rural communities. Hence, CBOs have a sole responsibility to provide a more varied of community services due to scarcity of supply of major basic needs of the people. For this reason, different government agencies are working hand in hand for further enhancement of the living conditions of the rural residents; networking with both local and external organizations and registration with an official public agency are identified and discussed as sustainable strategies to strengthen CBOs. They have been improving the service delivery standards of basic needs of the communities, and do their very best to give all available advancements for the well being of the rural inhabitants in Ghana.
Apparently, the water supply and sanitation problem in Ghana worsen due to the negligence of the government sector on the populations’ water supply and sanitation problems. Additionally, economic stagnancy due also to lack of financial resources; it has been remained the major cause of underdevelopment infrastructure in the region way back then. Subsequently, in 1994, the government sector has been taken extra measures slowly to modernize the rural environment in Ghana. This has done by creating autonomous regulatory agency; as well as by introducing the private sector participation in any projects implemented. In the same manner, the decentralization of the rural supply of basic needs of all rural communities to 138 areas where the inhabitants were also encourage to participate in the development and expansion of various community projects. The reforms aim at increasing cost recovery and a modernization of the urban utility Ghana Water Company Ltd. (GWCL), as well as of rural water supply systems. Correspondingly, to be able to focus on water supply and sanitation in rural communities, the Community Water and Sanitation Division launched a semi-autonomous division of GWSC in 1994. After four years of service to the public, it changed its name to the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) and became fully independent agency. Five years later, the GWSC was managed by GWCL. Likewise, the rural water supply and sanitation was decentralized to the District Assemblies. Then, the sanitation project was separated from water supply and became a responsibility of the District Assemblies in urban and rural areas. Besides, in order to encourage private sector to join in GWCL, the government issued a 10-year lease contract. But, in 2000, GWCL in cooperation with US Company named AZURIX did not pursue anymore their partnership due to people’s disagreement, and again, corruption issues occurred which caused for the final privatization of water supply in Ghana. Also, the main objectives of this water privatization in the region are making potable water affordable to the low-income residents, increasing cost recovery, ensuring support from private sectors, reducing non-task water supply and increasing water treatment program. This project, in fact, is financially supported by World Bank, Nordic Development Fund and of course by Ghana government.
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