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US$4.85 million earmarks for sustainable toilet facilities in Accra

By: Fred Yaw Sarpong

The World Bank, acting as administrator of the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA) has earmarked a US$4.85 million grant to provide sustainable toilet facilities in low income areas of Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), Ghana’s largest metropolitan region.
Funding for the project is provided by the United Kingdom Department of International Development (DFID). The DFID funds is to support construction of sustainable sanitation facilities in low-income areas

According to the international bank, about 50% of households in the Accra metropolitan region live in single rooms of compound houses that often lack basic sanitation facilities. As a result, most urban poor have to rely on pay-for-use public toilets or open defecation. 

It said Ghana ranks close to the bottom of the list in terms of improved sanitation in sub-Saharan Africa and, in a survey of Accra residents; improving sanitation was the top priority out of seven basic services.

The project is complementing a US$150 million International Development Association (IDA) grant from the World Bank Group to support the Government of Ghana in its efforts to provide low-income households with increased access to improved sanitation and water supply in the GAMA. 

‘‘Increasing access for the poor requires the construction and connection of toilet facilities to serve households in low-income areas. To help the poor afford the cost of the sanitation facilities, the GPOBA grant pilots an output-based approach that provides targeted partial subsidies to encourage households to construct facilities and service providers to serve low-income neighbourhoods,’’ the bank noted.

‘‘This is an innovative, result-based approach that will help reduce barriers to access for the poor. We look forward to supporting the Government of Ghana in its effort to improve sanitation in the low-income areas,’’ said Yusupha B. Crookes, Country Director for Ghana for the World Bank Group.

The subsidy to service providers will be disbursed based on two main outputs; toilets that have been properly installed and operational for at least three months, and adequate facility de-sludging services being provided to ensure sustainability. 

While it is important to provide toilets for improved sanitation, it’s equally important to ensure sustainable operations. This project aims to incentivize providers to serve the poorest areas, which might otherwise be neglected,’’ said Carmen Nonay, Manager of GPOBA.

GPOBA is a global partnership program established in 2003 and administered by the World Bank. It is a multi-donor trust fund used to develop output-based, or results-based aid approaches across a variety of sectors including infrastructure, health, and education.

It has a portfolio of 40 Output-Based Aid (OBA) pilot projects with US$190 million in commitments, providing access to basic services to more than six million poor beneficiaries.


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