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Water Aid to invest over GH¢21m in Ghana’s water, sanitation sector

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Water Aid Ghana (WAG), an international Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, has pledged to commit GH¢21,041,249 (£8.8M) in the next five years, to ensure more Ghanaians get access to potable water, improved sanitation and towards hygiene education.

The amount, it says, would be the total financial implication for ensuring 409,550 people gain access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services (WASH), through direct service delivery.

Currently though, the WASH Sector is reliant on mainly donor funding, with 90% of the total funding from the sector coming from donors, which have implications of largely donor driven priorities and approaches.

Making these known recently at Kumasi during WAG’s mid-year review workshop, Country Representative (CR) for Water Aid Ghana, Efia Zakiya, said the organisation will also work at providing 57,720 people with access to WASH through their influencing work in the next five years.

“We will ensure relationships with Parliament are strengthened to increase oversight and monitoring of policies in WASH,” she added.

Presenting WAG’s draft country strategy for 2010 to 2015, Efia Zakiya also divulged that the organisation will in the next five years (2010 – 2015) strengthen the capacities of District Water and Sanitation Teams (DWST), to deliver on their mandate in 19 Local Government Authority areas (LGAs) and to provide WASH services to poor people, which she explained will be their post implementation sustainability strategy.

Stating that they will look at WASH in wider development with emphasis on Health, Education and Agriculture, she stated that of the key outcomes expected in the period, “An effective M&E framework will be used by our partners and LGAs to improve sustainability, problem resolution and sector data (data to be disaggregated by sex, age, PWDs, etc.)”

She also disclosed that coordination of the WASH sector will be improved through the implementation of a sector-wide approach programme (SWAp).

Partner skills survey will be conducted to assess relevance to partnerships and ability to utilise Results Based Accountability (RBA), Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), Equity and Inclusion (E&I), Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and replicable technologies, while increased regional partnerships, collaborations and learning will be pursued, the CR added.

WAG’s Country Representative stated that eight additional staff will be employed to add up to its current staff of 17, to ensure they are able to rise up to the task they have set for themselves, specifically speaking of strengthening the organisation’s Tamale work station.

According to her, during the period in question, Water Aid Ghana will give fundraising and M&E a high priority, strengthen people and organisational development, add information technology to their finance function and enhance staff skills and motivation to achieve Country Strategy Programme 5 (CSP5).

“Leadership commits to addressing staff retention and morale, compensation and other  related issues,” she said, adding that a strategic plan will be monitored by means of a new Strategy Oversight Committee (SOC).

Touching on WAG’s key programme shifts for the year, the Ghana CR spoke of a plan to deepen RBA to WASH service delivery, aggressively pursue sanitation work, increase resource allocation to sanitation progressively to 60% by 2015, adopt the CLTS approach to improved sanitation and hygiene and partner with the Environmental Health Division of the Ministry of Health (MoH).

She also spoke of redefinition of relationships based on mandates of institutions and context of WAG’s strategy, increased efforts at rooted advocacy and rights-holder-duty bearer relationships, promotion of effective pro-poor targeting in urban areas, expansion to all 10 regions of Ghana by entering six new LGAs and deepening E&I as an RBA approach.

Water Aid Ghana’s CR further revealed that her outfit will strengthen micro-macro linkages and pro-poor participation in decision making.

Meanwhile, WAG has since 1985 when it entered the country, provided service to over 800,000 poor people, currently works in 13 LGAs in seven regions with eight NGO partners and three CSO networks.

Also, as a lead sector NGO, WAG has influenced key sector reforms and policy formulation and contributed significantly to sector capacity development and creation of CSO networks such as the Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) and the Ghana Watsan Journalists Network (GWJN).

By Edmund Smith-Asante

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