The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, has inaugurated a nine-member board to support the Regional Water and Environmental Sanitation Centre, Kumasi (RWESCK) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
The Board known as the Sector Advisory Board (SAB) will support the Centre to establish chairs with funding for research and training, secure annual internship positions for staff and students, spearhead industry-academia joint research and conduct outreach and advocacy. The SAB will also be expected to provide industry occupational standards, competencies, and feedback on students’ tracer studies
The Head of RWESCK, Professor Sampson Oduro Kwarteng, noted that the Centre under a World Bank project, has built capacities in water supply, water resources and environmental sanitation for the past four years. He further added that the project of the centre is at the final stage, hence, a proposal for renewal has been submitted. The Centre is thus expected to set up an International Advisory Board as well as a Sector Advisory Board to help it deliver on its mandate.
Hon. Dapaah, who is the Chairperson of the Board, administered the oath of office to the members. The members are Ing. Worlanyo Siabi, Chief Executive Officer of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency, Dr. Clifford A. Braimah, Managing Director of the Ghana Water Company Limited and Mr. Ramesh Bhusal, Chief of WASH, UNICEF.
The rest are Mr. Ben Ampomah, Executive Secretary of the Water Resources Commission, Ms. Ama Allene Ofori–Antwi, Executive Secretary of the Environmental Sanitation Providers Association, Dr. Henry Brew, a Business Developer, H2G and Dr. Ing. Pascal Bieupoude, a Business Developer of BPL Projects. Prof. Sampson Oduro Kwarteng and Prof. Samuel Nii Odai are Secretary and Ex-Officio members respectively.
Accepting the Board Chair role, she called for the support of all members and reminded them of the onerous responsibility, considering new trends in the sector.
She cited factors such as population growth and rural urban migration’s impact on the delivery of sector stakeholders, supply of water, engineering and the sanitation sector.
Ing. Worlanyo Siabi, on behalf of the Board promised to work to help solve the water and sanitation challenges in the country especially the rural communities. He said the Board has been carefully composed and that it will work to make KNUST and Ghana benefit from the project.
Former Head of the RWESCK and the Vice-Chancellor of the Accra Technical University, Professor Samuel Nii Odai said the development challenges confronting Ghana and the Sub-Saharan Africa are enormous, and these include inadequate access to safely managed water and environmental sanitation facilities, poor water resources management as well as the increasing threat to climate variability and water-food-energy insecurity.
According to Professor Nii Odai, the RWESCK therefore added that in order for the region to make significant progress towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6, 12, 13 and 15, the Centre has positioned itself to enhance teaching, learning and research.
The Centre has the Ghana Water Company, Community Water and Sanitation Agency, National Disaster Management Organisation, Hydrological Services Department, Water Research Institute and the Environmental Protection Agency, University of Cape Coast, University of Education and the National Board for Professional and Technical Examinations as national partners aside regional ones.
The Centre has IHE Institute of Water Education, Delft, Netherlands, Indian Institute of Technology Rookee, India and Hohai University, China as international partners.