Nine years of its existence, the Regional Water & Environmental Sanitation Centre Kumasi, (RWESCK) is making great strides in innovative research, training and producing high-calibre graduates with knowledge and expertise in water resources, water supply and environmental sanitation to support the industrial and socio-economic development of Ghana and Africa.
The Centre Director, Professor Sampson Oduro-Kwarteng giving an overview of the Centre’s activities over the years stated that the Centre has produced Hundred and Twenty-Six (126) PhD graduates and Two Hundred and Ninety-One (291) in Water Resources Management, Water Supply and Treatment Technology, and Environmental Sanitation and Waste Management. The Centre has started offering new Master’s Programmes in MSc. Environmental Sanitation and Waste Management; Water Supply Engineering and Management, Water Engineering (Water Resources) and Disaster Prevention and Management programmes.
On delivery of professional short courses, the Centre has trained One Thousand and Fifty-two (1052) sanitation sector workers in Ghana and the Sub-region. The short courses covered include Borehole Drilling and Construction, Geographic Information Systems Applications in Water Resources and Sanitation, Sustainable Integrated Municipal Solid Waste Management, Sustainable Onsite Faecal Sludge Management; Water and Sanitation Master Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation; Urban Drainage Monitoring, and Evaluation and All4WASH Summer School.
With teaching and learning infrastructure, he stated that the Centre can now boast of Laboratory equipment (Scanning Electronic Microscope, X-ray Diffractometer, PCR, Biogas Analyser, Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS), Gas Chromatography (GC), Spectrophotometry, among others), an E-learning studio for online courses and collaborated with Ghana Standard Authority on ISO Laboratory certification and standardisation.
Professor Oduro-Kwarteng hinted that the Centre is pursuing sustainability strategies by introducing four new master’s programmes, an investment fund, a facility management fund, a vehicle fund, and a laboratory fund as part of its measures to sustain the Centre after the World Bank funding.
Professor Sampson Oduro-Kwarteng announced the 2023 Water Dialogue Series, which addresses water and climate issues. He explained that the sector would engage sector ministries, industry and academic experts on topical issues to proffer solutions to sector problems and identify areas for further research and collaborations. It will also engage strategic industry partners for possible research uptake and joint pilot demonstration to provide a platform for advocacy to enhance the visibility of the Centre, he added.
The topics to be treated include the Remediation of Degraded Artisanal Mining (Galamsey) Sites and Polluted Water Resources in Ghana; Flood Control and Climate Resilience Infrastructure; Sector-wide Water Services Reform and Regulation in Ghana and Municipal Solid Waste Management Cost Recovery and Private Sector Finance.
The Vice-Chancellor of Accra Technical University, Professor Samuel Nii Odai indicated that the series would adopt an online/in-person approach and stream live to get international partners and attain global visibility.
The Regional Water and Environmental Sanitation Centre Kumasi (RWESCK) is a World Bank Africa Centre of Excellence project under the Department of Civil Engineering, KNUST. Phase I of the project commenced in 2013. Through the RWESCK’s overarching aim of impacting Ghana and West Africa, at the call of the proposal of the World Bank in 2018, the Centre received a renewal. In total, the Centre has received about 13.5 million USD from its donor. RWESCK continues to build capacity in water resources, water supply, environmental sanitation, and hygiene.
The Centre exists to be a recognised hub for advancing knowledge and expertise in water resources, climate resilience and adaptation, water technology, waste management and environmental sanitation. RWESCK is committed to providing conducive environment for teaching and cutting-edge research to address environment challenges.