SNV urges private sector involvement in sanitation service delivery

Accra- The SNV Netherlands Development Organization has called for effective private sector involvement in sanitation service delivery in Ghana.

Mr Eric Banye, the Country Programme Coordinator of SNV, said there was the need for an effective collaboration and coordination between the Government and financial institutions to provide targeted financing for sanitation projects at special interest rates for private investors and individual households.

He said in the area of sanitation the marketing of the most successful ones were driven by donors, therefore, there was a need to advocate for home-grown private sector led sanitation marketing drive, focusing on providing toilet facilities.

Mr Banye said this in his address at the National Private Sector Engagement Forum, organised by SNV Ghana, on the theme: Creating an enabling environment for private sector participation in sanitation service delivery.

The Voice for Change Partnership (V4CP) programme is an evidence-based advocacy programme being implemented by SNV in partnership with the International Food and Policy Research Institute and funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The aim of the five-year programme is to strengthen civil society organisations to advocate for an enabling environment in which governments and businesses provide good and affordable services for low-income segments in society.

Mr Banye noted that the private sector plays a fundamental role in socioeconomic development and in sanitation service delivery in every nation.

He said, however, there was a need to move away from addressing sanitation as a social service to a business; a business that is profitable along the sanitation value chain, but also affordable and accessible to the poor.

Mr Banye, who is also the National Project Coordinator for V4CP, stated that the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) component of the programme aimed at increasing equity and access to sustainable, equitable and affordable sanitation services and products.

He said it, therefore, sought to bring an improvement in the responsiveness of duty bearers and the private sector to the demands of the communities.

He said the discussions on public-private partnerships had been very rife in ensuring access to sustainable sanitation and a new paradigm was gradually being shifted from sole dependence on the government institutions, to looking at increased private sector involvement and building business models around social interventions.

Madam Ama Ofori Antwi, Executive Secretary of Environmental Service Providers Association, in her presentation, stated that the waste management sector only, had created 6,000 formal sector employment jobs and 60,000 jobs for the informal sector.

She noted the private sector had taken leadership in terms of promoting environmental sanitation, promoting a clean environment, with innovations such as value addition.

She said the Environmental Sanitation Policy, was guiding waste management in Ghana, as the policy allowed the private sector to provide environmental sanitation services on full cost recovery, on a basis of franchise, concessionary or public-private partner (PPP) agreements.

Madam Ofori said, however, there was a need for policies to be reformed and clear guidelines outlined for private sector involvement during the process; and government must lead and provide a framework for the private sector, making it attractive for investors.

Mrs Esi Boni-Morkla, Programmes Manager at the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, noted that increasing people’s access to improved sanitation, combined with hygiene, was also part of the five global public health strategies for the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases.

She said among the challenges within the sanitation service delivery were inadequate financing mechanism, weak research support and database, unwillingness and inability to pay for services by the populace, lack of land and High Open defecation and Low number of toilet facilities.

Mrs Boni-Morkla said the call for PPPs would enhance coverage and quality of facilities and services, and as well increase agility and responsiveness to user needs and operational requirements, compared to slow and bureaucratic public sector procedures.

Source: Ghana News Agency