Minister for Sanitation and Water resources, Cecelia Dapaah and Aqua Africa CEO, Philip Foster

Government has announced the signing of its first ever Green Loan to the value of €35 million.

The Loan, which seeks to follow the guidelines set by the Loan Market Association Green Loan Principles (GLPs), will support government deliver water projects to rural and peri-urban communities across the country.

Using proven UK-designed technology and systems, the project which is to be delivered by UK based, Aqua Africa Limited will deliver clean drinking water to rural communities and small towns.

This will alleviate up to 225,000 people from daily water poverty, delivering on the government’s policy of ‘Water for All’.

The project is aligned with Sustainable Development Goal six: clean water and sanitation 

Following the signing of a supply contract between the Sanitation and Water Resources Ministry and Aqua Africa, the Finance Ministry has signed agreements with UK Export Finance and HSBC Bank plc to finance this project.

The entry into the supply contract emphasises the government’s desire to be a pioneer and leader in delivering sustainable financing projects within Ghana.

HSBC has a target to mobilise $100 billion worth of sustainable financing and investment by 2025; and Ghana’s commitment towards combating climate change and its impact has led the government to take a key policy decision to integrate climate action into Ghana’s national development agenda, that is, the Co-ordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (2017-2022).

The framework of this initiative has been drawn from the Paris Agreement and SDG 13, which demands urgent action to combat climate change and its impact.

The financing of the project will enable the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, in partnership with Aqua Africa Limited and the Community Water and Sanitation Agency, to install and maintain point source and piped water systems to rural and peri-urban communities and secure revenue income from water sales using smart metering or cashless payment systems.

The project will use advanced Nano-technology filtration or other filtration methods as appropriate in contaminated water locations, as well as providing solar-powered pumping mechanisms and water piped systems either directly to small town households or community standpipe locations.

Commenting on the new initiative, Sanitation and Water Resources Minister, Cecilia Dapaah said: “The fulfilment of our basic human needs in our environment is essentially dependent on adequate clean water.

“Ghana’s ‘Green Agenda’ in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals is on course with the Aqua Africa Water Project. Increasing water coverage requires a consistent investment on year to year basis since population growth and demand for water keeps increasing. That is why we welcome wholeheartedly the investment in the Aqua Africa Project.”

Ghana Investment Promotion Center’s CEO Yofi Grant on his part also said: “It has been a great pleasure working with Aqua Africa to see this project happen. It shows the strong relationships that exist between Ghana and the UK and the collaborative effort in delivering on Ghana’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda.

“Water is an essential need and the use of innovative technologies to sustainably deliver safe water to those who need it most, is imperative to ensuring a quality standard of living.”

Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, Emma Wade-Smith also added,  “I am delighted that this project is now agreed, with the support of the Government of Ghana and UK Export Finance. This deal aligns strongly with the priorities of the Ghanaian Government around sustainability; and will have a very real and positive impact on the quality of lives of thousands of Ghanaians. I look forward to visiting once the new water systems are in place.”

 And the Aqua Africa’s Managing Director, Philip Foster said: “We commend the tri-partnership approach between the Government of Ghana, UKEF and the private sector in securing agreement for this vital social impact investment project that will provide access to clean water to over 225,000 Ghanaians, in support of the Water for all policy aligned with the SDG agenda.

“We express our thanks to the Honourable Ministers of Sanitation and Water Resources and Finance, and The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre for their trust in Aqua Africa and the project approach. We are looking forward to implementing this project and to developing the relationship that will deliver further projects that are planned to follow.”

Aqua Africa Limited is a UK business set up in early 2014 to focus on social impact government-to-government projects providing safe, sterile clean drinking water.

The relationship with Africa started in 2010 when the Managing Director, Philip Foster, was asked to conduct an investment review of an agriculture project in Togo.

The company under review also had interests in neighbouring Ghana.