Dr. Lahkdar delivering a seepch at the official launch of USAID WA-WASH in Ouagadougou

A water and Sanitation programme for four West Africa countries has been launched (July 16, 2102) in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso.

The four year (2011-2015) West Africa Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WA-WASH) programme funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will be implemented in Ghana, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso with its headquarters in Ouagadougou.

The WA-WASH Programme has a funding of $29 million of which $24 million is dedicated to WASH activities; $1 million to Food Security, and $4 million to climate change activities.

 The primary goal of the programme is to increase – by building on and expanding past West Africa Water Initiative (WAWI) efforts in West Africa -sustainable access to safe water and sanitation, and improve hygiene in the respective project countries. The breakdown of the objective is as follows:

  • Support catalytic approaches to accelerate regional access to improved water supply/sanitation services and improved hygiene behaviours.
  •  Develop and implement improved models for sustainability of rural and peri-urban WASH service delivery that are replicable throughout West Africa.
  • Build synergies between WASH interventions and critical USAID/West Africa regional priorities related to food security, climate change, and sustainable resource management.
  •  Strengthen regional enabling environment and capacity for WASH to achieve WASH MDGs in West Africa.

Speaking at the launch, USAID WA-WASH Director, Dr Lakhdah Boukerrou, said the programme comes at a time when there is insufficient or inadequate access to water and sanitation facilities in many West African countries. A situation he describes as having enormous health, economic and social impact on the lives of the people in these countries, especially the poorest.

Dr. Lahkdar being assisted by the United States of America Ambassador to Burkina Faso and some government dignitaries, to cut the tape to officially open the WA-WASH head office in Ouagadougou.

Dr. Lakhdah said it is against this background that the USAID WA-WASH programme has come to help improve the situation.  He said the objective of the programme is to help increase access to safe water and sanitation and improve hygiene by building and expanding the efforts of previous interventions of USAID in West Africa.

He stated that “the WA-WASH programme, within the next four years, will enable the provision of a range of innovative technologies at low cost to the populace and funding mechanisms based on models of micro credit to provide rural households with adequate water supply and promotion of multiple uses of water services”.

Dr. Lakhdah said the USAID programme WA-WASH aims to achieve concrete results in the areas of access to drinking water sanitation and hygiene, strengthening the private sector and local and national governments, the product development integrated management and promotion of networking and cooperation.

The Ghana Office of IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, in partnership with the other implementing partners in the country, will form the WA-WASH country team that will be responsible for the implementation of the various aspects of the programme.

IRC Ghana is  in charge of Knowledge Management for WA-WASH partners’ and WASH sector knowledge management.

 

Compiled by:

Victor Narteh Otum

Documentation and Communication Officer

IRC Ghana/WA-WASH KM Person