The Parliament of Ghana has approved an amount of 45.7 million dollars to improve water and sanitation issues in the country.
Moving the motion in Parliament on Thursday, the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah said the amount will go a long way to solve most of the challenges facing the country in terms of water and sanitation.
He urged the house to adopt the report of the joint committee on Finance, Works and Housing on the financing agreement between the government of the Republic of Ghana and the International Development Association of the World Bank Group for an amount of thirty three million Special Drawing Rights ( SDR 33,000,000), equivalent to USD 45.7 million as additional finance for the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Project.
Asibey Yeboah, in presenting the committee report, told the house that over the years lack of water and sanitation facilities have been a major health concern, undermining achievements such as reduction in poverty, infant mortality, malnutrition and diseases in the country.
According to the committee’s report, a UNDP report indicates that 70% of diseases in Ghana particularly diarrhea and cholera were as a result of inadequate water supply and sanitation services.
The Committee noted that the main purpose for the additional funding is to complete the remaining works under the original project and to cover the 5% counterpart funding that was to be paid by the beneficiary District Assemblies which could not be honoured due to financial constraints.
The Committee Chairman acknowledged that there was an initial project funded by the IDA with the credit facility amounting to US$75 million, but was still not enough for the completion of the project hence the need for this agreement.
However, the former Minister for Roads and Highways, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini condemned the situation where Ghana go to developing partners after 60 years of independence for loans for projects such as building toilets in communities.
He said funds for a toilet project is something that can be generated internally, advising the country to only run to developing partners for loans for other “serious projects”.
After submissions and contributions have been made by members on the loan agreement, the Speaker of Parliament pronounced the 45.7 million dollar loan approved .
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