A Dutch consortium of two consulting firms and a non-governmental health organisation has been granted the task to develop a long-term water, sanitation and hygiene plan for the Ghana-Netherlands WASH Programme in Ghana.
Clean and safe water, adequate sanitation, and proper hygiene education is not accessible for everyone on the planet, leaving people at risk for illnesses and deaths by disease. Research shows that every day more than 6,000 children younger than 5 years die from water-, sanitation-, and hygiene-related diseases. More than half of these deaths could be prevented by the provision of clean water, basic sanitation and hygiene education.
Against this backdrop, the so-called ‘Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council’ in 2001 launched its water, sanitation and hygiene advocacy campaign: WASH. This campaign was a response to the failure of world leaders to recognize sanitation as a target at the UN Millennium Summit in 2000, when the Millennium Development Goals were adopted.* The campaign aims at raising public and political awareness of adequate sanitation services, healthy hygiene practices, and safe water supplies and has since grown into a worldwide movement.
Ghana-Netherlands WASH Programme
Under the umbrella of the overarching WASH initiative, the Netherlands and Ghana have jointly setup a ‘local’ WASH programme: the Ghana-Netherlands WASH Programme (GNWP). This programme focuses on the improvement of hygiene and sanitary conditions in five selected municipalities: Cape Coast, KEEA, Ga Central, Ga South and Ga West. The aim of GNWP is to design and construct a water supply and sanitation infrastructure that is not only reliable but also financially and institutionally sustainable. In addition, the programme – which has a total budget of €200 million up to 2020 – will focus on the establishment of best practices for urban WASH improvement.
To ensure that GNWP is successfully implemented, the programme board has decided to, in some technical and functional areas, bring in the expertise of external consultants. In the area of ‘Technical Assistance’ the work has been awarded to a consortium of three Dutch firms, engineering consulting firm Witteveen+Bos (lead), management consulting firm Berenschot and non-governmental health organization Simavi. The partners will assist GNWP with a long-term master plan, technical designs and tender documents for selected projects and training protocols. The consortium will work closely with the municipalities and local stakeholders, as capacity building is a key aim of the programme.
* In 2002, sanitation was added to the Millennium Development Goals.