AfDB, Ivorian government celebrate world water day

As a sign of their healthy relations, the Ivoirian Government on Thursday, March 23, 2017, in Abidjan, partnered with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other development players, to commemorate World Water Day.

World Water Day is celebrated every year on March 22. It is an opportunity to raise awareness on water issues. This year, the event was celebrated under the theme wastewater.

The ceremony, held at the Ivorian Prime Minister’s Office allowed speakers to not only underscore the criticality of water and sanitation to the social and economic well-being of Ivorians but to also draw the public’s attention to the urgent need to turn wastewater into a source of wealth.

Representing the Prime Minister of Cote D’Ivoire, Ms. Anne Désirée Ouloto, Minister of Hygiene, Environment and Sustainable Development and Deputy Spokesperson of the Ivorian Government said wastewater should not be the source of diseases and poverty. Wastewater, she said, should rather be viewed from an income generation lens.

Minister Ouloto said water and sanitation are central to the government’s 2020 vision which aims to make Cote d’Ivoire an emerging country.

Several projects demonstrate the Bank’s commitment to the water and sanitation sector in Côte d’Ivoire. The Gourou Integrated Watershed Management Project, financed by the Bank for approximately 23.30 million Units of Account (UA) in 2010, has improved environmental management and treatment of solid waste, job creation, improved sanitation, and better health outcomes for about 280,000 people targeted in the District of Abidjan. Close to US $350 million was mobilized in October 2016 for Phase II which primarily seeks to consolidate the gains of the first phase.

Representing the Bank at the event, Jean-Michel Ossete, Acting Coordinator of the African Water Facility said, “the possibilities of exploiting wastewater are considerable. Costs of wastewater management are substantially outweighed by economic benefits associated with improved human health, economic development, and environmental sustainability.” According to Ossete, the Bank “will continue to support public and private initiatives in the water and sanitation sector in general and wastewater in particular. Political commitment is vital for the success of water and sanitation projects. Ossete also urged African governments to give greater priority to water and sanitation.


Source: African Development Bank Group

GWCL calls for steps to prioritise wastewater treatment

By: Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA

Accra, March 9, GNA – The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) says less than 10 percent of wastewater in the country is treated and therefore called for measures in prioritising its recycling to enhance socio-economic development.

Mrs Margaret Macauley, the Chief Manager of the Water Quality Assurance Department (WQAD) of the GWCL, made the call at the media launch of this year’s World Water Day, in Accra, on Thursday, on the theme: ”Water and Waste Water”.

She said the opportunities for exploiting wastewater as a resource were enormous because safely managed, wastewater could serve as an affordable and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients and other recoverable materials.

She said as a nation, we must ensure systematic reduction in the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increase recycling and safe re-use of both liquid and solid waste.

According to her, a large proportion of wastewater generated was discharged directly into the environment without or with very little treatment because the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies that were responsible for waste management lacked the capacity to manage them effectively.

She said pragmatic steps must be taken to improve the sources of water by reducing pollution, eliminate dumping of liquid and solid waste as well as minimise the release of hazardous chemicals and materials into water bodies.

The Chief Manager of the WQAD of the GWCL noted that most of the wastewater treatment plants were dysfunctional and therefore partially treated wastewater were discharged back to the environment which could negatively affect the ecosystem and pose a health risk to the surrounding communities.

She said: ”Water has to be carefully managed throughout the various paths of the water cycle from fresh water abstraction, pre-treatment, treatment, distribution, use, collection of grey water, post-treatment, re-use of the treated wastewater, and its ultimate return to the environment, ready to be abstracted to start the cycle again.

Mrs Macauley observed that water was essential to human existence and core to sustainable development, and also played a critical role to the wellbeing and prosperity of the people.

She said the United Nations General Assembly in 2010 explicitly recognised universal access to water as a human right and considered it as one of the most important issues of the 21st century.

She noted that water was needed for domestic, commercial and industrial purposes and, therefore, called for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to maintain its wholesomeness and availability.

The Executive Secretary of Water Resources Commission, Mr Benjamin Ampomah, who chaired the function, reiterated the need for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to tackle the menace of illegal mining which had polluted major water bodies across the country.

He said water was a valuable resource that played an essential role in human survival therefore the issue of illegal mining should be tackled with all seriousness and perpetrators made to face the full rigours of the law.

The World Water Day is celebrated by the international community on the 22nd of March each year, to draw attention to the importance of freshwater and advocate the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

This year’s theme: Water and Waste Water,” provides an important opportunity for all stakeholders to learn more about how wastewater can be a valuable resource to the country’s economy and how its safe management would aid in investment as well as the health of the populace and the ecosystem.

Some activities earmarked for the celebration include public awareness creation through radio and television discussions, editorials, writing of feature articles, radio news commentaries and special in-depth news interviews.

The celebration would be climaxed on March 22 with tour of some water recycled plants by various stakeholders.