Ghana-Netherlands WASH Programme (GNWP)

In the South of Ghana, 92% of the population has access to clean water. However over 70% of the people in urban areas use shared latrines that are rarely clean. Over 50% of schools have no water source and 40% have poor quality or no sanitary facilities at all. Open defecation is still common. As a result preventable waterborne diseases pose a big threat to local people’s health.

Population growth in urban areas puts further pressure on the demand for water and sanitation. In the peri-urban areas and densely populated poor urban areas, residents receive a water supply once a week or not at all. Intermittent supplies, dependence on water tanker services due to a limited distribution network, low pressure and doubtful water quality is a daily state of affairs for communities and schools. This has an adverse impact on public health, hinders economic development, and leads to unhealthy and severe living conditions.

continue to objectives

Overall objective

Improve sustainable use of, and access to, water, sanitation and hygiene services among populations in the five selected urban municipalities of over 1.5 million people, with a focus on poor and vulnerable groups.

Specific objectives

  1. Improved water supply, latrines and hygiene practices in 100 schools;
  2. Improved sustainable access to, and use of, sanitation services and adoption of hygienic practices by 10% of the population in the five municipalities;
  3. Enhanced capacities of MAs and other key parties in the governance, planning and management of water and sanitation.
continue to approach

The Ghana-Netherlands Water Sanitation and Hygiene programme (GNWP) is an integrated urban water and sanitation programme initiated by the Dutch embassy and national government of Ghana.

GNWP is built on three main pillars: infrastructure development, behavioural change and capacity building. The programme strives for innovative solutions, for example in relation to public-private collaboration, funding mechanisms and sanitation marketing. Innovation is needed to realise GNWP’s goal of provide all Ghanaians with sustainable basic water and sanitation services by 2025.

GNWP Consortium

The programme is implemented in partnership with engineering company Witteveen+Bos (lead), Simavi and management consultants Berenschot. This consortium has collaborated on other projects in the past in various configurations and brings a unique expertise area to the project: Witteveen+Bos has contributed to dozens of water projects in many African countries; Berenschot has extended experience in organising projects in complex environments; Simavi’s expertise includes the implementation of sustainable WASH programmes.

Intervention strategies and activities

Within GNWP, Simavi implements specific activities to improve WASH in schools, in particular to achieve behavioural change in order to reduce the practice of open defecation and increase the use of in house toilets. Together with local partners, they use the following intervention strategies and activities:

1. WASH in schools

  • Establish working connections to the water supply network, boreholes, rainwater harvesting and latrines in schools;
  • Capacity building of school stakeholders for operation and maintenance of WASH services and facilities;
  • Life skills based hygiene education through a Football For WASH programme.

2. Law enforcement

  • Revision of byelaws to follow up on public hygiene regulation and building codes;
  • Building district capacity to enforce sanitation laws;
  • Training of prosecutors to punish sanitation offenders.

3. Sanitation demand and social accountability

  • Urban Community Led Total Sanitation (UCLTS) activities;
  • Support the population to claim their rights in relation to improved water and sanitation facilities;
  • Create public awareness through a mass media campaign.

4. Sanitation marketing and business models

  • Establish a sanitation entrepreneurs forum;
  • Capacity development of entrepreneurs;
  • Support the development of business plans.

5. Capacity building and knowledge management of WASH service

  • Introduce cost recovery principles in water and sanitation services;
  • Promote private sector engagement;
  • Raise competency and knowledge management of WASH services.

To ensure sustainable changes all these activities are implemented according to the FIETS principles. GNWP focuses on the sustainable use of the WASH service and enhanced capabilities of relevant local organisation and institutions. Our secondary targets are capacity building, behavioural change and creating a quality control mechanism to ensure high quality products and services.

continue to result

During the first half of 2014, Simavi developed an ambitious strategy and work plan to contribute to the realisation of the GNWP goal of zero open defecation in 2020. We proposed a unique set of WASH activities to serve school children and poor people in urban neighbourhoods. This consisted of working on the demand and supply side of household sanitation.

These are several key output indicators that Simavi tracked with its partners in 2015:

Community empowerment

  • 61,720 people directly reached with education on WASH;
  • 59,521 pepople who participated in awareness training.

Enabling environment

  • 84 people wo learned about social accountability or trained on policy influencing.

Sustainable services

  • 53 public places with improved WASH facilities;.

You can find a complete programme results overview of 2015 here.

Situation Approach Result

Programme information

  • Simavi Budget

    € 2.4 million

  • Overal Budget

    € 6.3 million

  • 1 years

  • Location

    Ghana: Ga South Municipal Assembly, Ga Central Municipal Assembly, Ga West Municipal Assembly, Elmina Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem (KEEA) Municipal Assembly and Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly.

  • Target groups

    30,000 boys and girls at primary schools and 45,000 people in low-income urban communities across the five selected municipalities.

  • Alliance partners

    Witteveen+Bos, Berenschot

  • Implementing partners

    Akvo, HFFG, KNVB World Coaches and Professional Football Association Ghana, Pronet, Farmhouse (marketing company), Maxwell Opoku- Agyemang (consultant law enforcement)

  • Donors

    The Dutch Embassy Ghana (EKN)  

  • Role of Simavi

    Within the GNWP consortium, Simavi is responsible for the implementation through local organisations and consultants of activities to improve WASH in schools, expand capacity building of WASH service providers at municipal and national level, and behavioural change communication.


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