Last month Phase 1 of the Ghana Netherlands WASH Programme (GNWP) came to an end. To celebrate its implementation, a closing conference was held on June 26 in Accra, the capital of Ghana.
The Technical Assistance consortium (Witteveen + Bos, Berenschot and Simavi) and local implementing partners amongst ProNet and HFFG, all attended this festive occasion. Together with representatives of the Ministry of local government, the Dutch embassy and various stakeholders, we looked back at the results during the last eighteen months.
Working towards sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene
GNWP is an integrated urban water and sanitation programme initiated by the Dutch embassy and national government of Ghana. The overall goal is to improve sustainable use of, and access to, water, sanitation and hygiene services among a population of over 1.5 million people in five urban municipalities, with a focus on poor and vulnerable groups. The first phase of technical assistance ran from January 2014 until June 2015.
In his opening speech, the Deputy Minister referred to the huge need for water, sanitation and hygiene in Ghana. He also mentioned the GNWP’s contribution to the improved planning of water and sanitation in the five municipalities it was active in.
In different interview sessions key stakeholders explained how a multi-disciplinary team approached the various tasks. The first interview session put Simavi and its local partners’ activities in the spotlight, such as WASH in schools and urban community led total sanitation. For example, ProNet explained that this was the first project in which water, sanitation and hygiene activities were fully addressed. HFFG reported that 1500 people and landlords had registered their interest in building household toilets. In another interview session, the Deputy Minister, a representative of the Ministry of Finance and the director of Zoomlian (waste management company) discussed the topic of aid and trade.
A booklet with lessons learned was distributed and can be downloaded here. It was found that special considerations in latrine design, combined with discussing the issues faced during menstruation with both boys and girls, lead to a better understanding of female hygiene and an improved learning environment. Another lesson learned is that the role and support of traditional leaders is paramount for the adoption of household toilets.
Simavi has until the end of August to complete the ‘WASH in schools’ programme activities and sanitation marketing. After that, we will pass the baton on to SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and the banks that manage a credit line for investment in household toilets and for sanitation entrepreneurs.