Friday, March 22, 2013

Ghana develops technology assessment framework to sustain water, sanitation facilities

By Patrick Baidoo

With a few years to the MDG 2015 threshold for Country’s globally, Ghana seemingly is lagging behind on attaining the 54 % benchmark on Sanitation although it has done extremely well in the area of potable water provision to both urban and rural communities.

The country’s sanitation woes can be attributed poor attitude from citizens, finance for the sector, and the lack of maintenance of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities at all levels. In the scheme of things it’s also important to acknowledge that the fitting of water and sanitation technologies at wrong geographical locations has also compounded the situation.

Hence, to ensure that there is a guide detailing support for technologies or facilities meant for service delivery in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector and also make sure that the right equipments are chosen and fitted in appropriate areas or communities, Ghana is currently developing a Technological Assessment Framework (TAF).

The TAF would serve as a tool with enforcement mechanisms for new technology introduction, time frame for maintenance and repairs for broken down WASH facilities, equipments that are suitable and not suitable for fitting in specific communities.

Currently the framework is in a draft format after various field and academic consultations was done throughout some selected districts in the regions across the country. 

This culminated in a validation process by stakeholders to fine tune the document and roll out the TAF to bring technological streamlining in the WASH sector.

The document was put together by TREND, Resource Centre Network and Water Aid  all NGOs and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

Six technologies widely being implemented throughout the country in households, communities and institutional levels have been assessed on pilot basis to determine the effectiveness of the draft TAF.

The technologies are Slow Sand Filtration, Ghana Modified India Mark II Pump, Pour Flush Latrine, Rope Pump, EnviroLoo and Biofil Toilet Facilities.

Hence at a validation platform in Accra recently, Dr. Eric Antwi Ofosu, of the KNUST took participants through the efficacy of the selected facilities in Ghana and mentioned the key elements for technology introduction as context, enabling environment, product and introduction process.

Participants were satisfied with the presentations and intent of the TAF and sought clarifications on issues relating to equitable access to technologies and ultimate ownership of the document.

In that vein, representatives from the Local Government Ministry and Community Water and Sanitation Agency promised to own the document for their field of endeavour.

Recommendations at the end of the forum were: there should be support systems for all technologies adopted to ensure prompt repair and replacement of broken down systems, enforced mechanism for use of approved technologies and technologies should be patented to protect copyright.


The TAF is an output of the water, sanitation and technologies (WASHTECH) project which is being implemented in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Uganda.

The project has become necessary because the achievement of water and sanitation MDGs in many African countries South of Sahara is uncertain. Besides, stakeholders have recognized the role of affordable and sustainable technologies in facilitating progress in the sector, innovative technologies have a wide applicability, and that national strategies have focused on conventional approaches for too long hence the need to adopt a new paradigm.

The task thus is to provide the WASH sector with a systematic and participatory way of assessing and adopting technology innovation that effectively takes the poorest of the world a step closer to expanding life choices and opportunities for development

Institutions tasked with implementing the project in Ghana are TREND, RCN, WaterAid and KNUST with a primary focus on technologies for sustainable WASH service delivery in Peri-urban, Small Towns and Rural Areas.

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