Story: Mary Mensah
A $500,000 Transboundary Community Water Management project located within the Tano River basin between Ghana and Cote d’ Ivoire has been launched.
The project, jointly funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Coca-Cola company, aims at supporting the sustainable use and management of the Tano River basin and enhancing relations between the two neighbouring countries.
The Deputy Head of the US mission in Ghana, Ms Sue Brown, signed for her government while the CEO of Coca-Cola, Mr Neville Isdell, signed for his company after which the documents were handed over to the Minister of Water resources, Works and Housing, Alhaji Abubakar Sadique Boniface.
In an address, Ms Brown said the project fell under the umbrella of a $14-million plus public-private partnership that is improving water resource management and expanding access to improved drinking water and sanitation services for poor and marginalised people in 17 developing countries.
She said the Tano River basin initiative would bring considerable benefits to local inhabitants in the area of water management, water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion.
Ms Brown said the project was initiated in November, 2007 and had already made important advances on both sides of the border, including the completion of community water action plans, formation and training of water/sanitation committees and the establishment of community nurseries.
The Deputy Ambassador said as a result of the alliance between the USAID and Coca Cola about 20,000 people would benefit from improved water supply, 8,000 children would be able to make use of healthy sanitary facilities and 1,000 hectares would be rehabilitated.
She said the US government strongly supported public-private alliance as a strategic approach to meeting development objectives and was open to partnering with other private sector entities that had decided to support development efforts in Ghana and other developing countries.
Mr Neville Isdell for his part said this project was an excellent example of public-private partnership between the US government and a major multinational corporation.
He said by this alliance Coca Cola hoped to make a meaningful change in the society they represented and added that the company believed that was a human right.
“We at Coca-Cola also believe that our business will not prosper if the local community does not prosper,” he said.
Alhaji Boniface said Ghana as a nation viewed improved water management as a key factor for the successful achievement of the country’s growth.
He said the Water Resource Commission had adopted an integrated approach to water resource management that ensured co-ordinated development and management of water and related resources.