Aquaya Institute Monthly Water Quality Testing Program
Aquaya continued to undertake its pilot water quality testing program across some communities in the Asutifi North District in the month of January 2021. Officially the pilot water quality testing program by Aquaya ended in January 2021, after running for nine months.
The program is a collaboration between Aquaya Institute, Ghana Water Company Limited and Asutifi North District Assembly (ANDA) to undertake testing of ten (10) water systems every month. Upon completion of a round of testing, the results are presented to a wider stakeholder group, including Aquaya, Asutifi North District Assembly (ANDA), and Water and Sanitation Management Teams (WSMTs). Aquaya convened a monthly meeting with ANDA and WSMTs, and other stakeholders to interpret test results whilst also facilitating analytical discussions among stakeholders on the test results and proposed remedial actions. This helps the stakeholders to have a better understanding of the test results whilst building the capacity of the WSMTs to respond to the test results.
Aquaya in the month of February 2021 will initiate the process to renew the agreement with Ghana Water Company Limited and the Asutifi North District Assembly for water quality testing to continue to December 2021.
Aquaya Distributes Subsidized Aquatabs to Water Kiosks and WMSTs
In support of the Government Free Water Policy and efforts to promote the consumption of safe water, Aquaya is implementing a short-term subsidy initiative targeted at subsidizing the cost of water treatment for community members in the Asutifi North District. As part of the initiative, Aquaya has made available subsidized Aquatabs to WSMTs and Water Kiosks (community sale points) for purchase by water users. This was to ensure that community members could easily access and purchase the Aquatabs to treat their water before consumption. The subsidy programme ensured that community members paid less than 17% of the total cost of Aqua Tabs provided to them for the treatment of their water.
As at 31st December 2020, the subsidy initiative had distributed 19 boxes of Aquatabs to 15 community sale points (Water Kiosks) in six communities. These communities are Panaba, Agravi, Gambia No. 2, Ntotroso, Kenyasi, and Kensere.
The two-month-long initiative by Aquaya was extended beyond December 2020 into January 2021, as some challenges were identified within the district in the implementation of the Government’s Free Water Initiative which officially ended in December 2020. Aquaya intends to continue the distribution of subsidized Aqua Tabs to Water Kiosks in the month of February 2021 as well.
Aquaya Targeted Subsidies Project
As part of the commencement activities of a new Aquaya project, community consultation meetings were organized with the leadership of three selected peri-urban communities where Safe Water Network had deployed their Water Stations. The communities visited include Anyinasuso (Ahafo Ano North Municipal Assembly) and Breme (Tano South Municipal Assembly). The meetings were held on Thursday 21 January 2021 and served as an avenue to introduce the community leaders to the Targeted Subsidies project while soliciting their views and opinions concerning the project. In attendance of the meeting were staff of Safe Water Network, ANDA, and other stakeholders and partners.
Aquaya’s Targeted Subsidies Project seeks to achieve two key learnings of which the first is how to identify the “poor” who are eligible for help on water access, while the second is how to administer a pro-poor water access program that effectively reaches the poorest.
Aquaya Sensitizes communities on Aquatabs
In January 2021, Aquaya in collaboration with District Planning and Environmental Health officials from the Asutifi North District Assembly, and SHEP Coordinators from Ghana Education Service (GES) embarked on a sensitization campaign to deepen community understanding and appreciation for properly treated water. The sensitization addressed issues such as ways in which their water sources were contaminated, layers of water contamination, health risks associated with the consumption and use of contaminated water, how to use recommended treatment options like boiling and Aquatabs, and how to properly handle and store water safely.
After weeks of supplying and tracking the sale of Aquatabs at various sale points (Water Kiosks) in communities across the Asutifi North District, it was noticed that the purchase of Aqua Tabs by community members was low. This slow sale was attributed to the low level of awareness of community members on the essence of consuming safely/properly treated water.