The Asutifi North District Assembly in collaboration with Netcentric Campaigns, under the District Level Learning Alliance Platform (DLLAP) on Friday, August 12 invited its stakeholders to deliberate on advocacy issues surrounding the ANAM WASH Initiative. This forms part of a series of activities targeted at growth, network capacity, collaborations, and their impacts on key responsibilities of the initiative.

Netcentric Campaigns is a key partner of ANAM WASH initiative, with an effort on creating a stakeholder-focused network using both existing and new platforms to support WASH and allied actions, advocacy, and engagements to influence behavior and attitudinal change.

WASH Desk Officer, Charles Elikplim Nutsuakor in his presentation pointed out that a network of 1,798 people out of a targeted 10,000 has so far been recruited across the district to assist with advocacy through publicity campaigns, monthly radio programs, one on one engagements, community visits, and other platforms.

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He also reported that “the WASH desk has so far received 346 complaints through walk-ins, radio phone-ins, website, facebook, calls to wash desk and field visits... 204 of these have been for water whereas as 142 for sanitation and hygiene. 176 complaints out of these have been totally resolved”

District Co-ordinating Officer, Samuel Badu-Baiden in his remarks charged stakeholders to own up the initiative to bring about positive change. “Those of us here are more than enough to cause change across the country. Let us not be good at only finding faults. Let us encourage people to act right by personally holding ourselves and others around us responsible for WASH-related issues”, he said.

District Chief Executive, Honorable Anthony Mensah also stressed the importance of collaboration with the people saying, “For the few years that that pay as you fetch policy has being in place, requests by residents to the Assembly to fix water systems have seized. People now manage and repair systems on their own when it breaks down. This is what happens when people take responsibility for public facilities and their environment.”

Some stakeholders however raised concerns about the status of WASH in the main townships citing it as deplorable. Officers responded by highlighting the measures in place to address the situation and called for patience. However, lack of ownership from residents, political polarization, and misunderstanding of the Assembly structure by the main townships were cited as some reasons for the situation.

Apesemakahene of Kenyasi No.1, Nana C.K. Yeboah in his closing remarks charged WASH officers and stakeholders to work together toward expanding the network membership. “I beg of you, let’s not leave sanitation and hygiene advocacy for only the officers. Let’s enter our religious places with our advocacy. PTA meetings as well. We should have Muslim leaders here to speak in mosques and Christians in churches whilst WASH officers guide and monitor the message delivery”, he said. 

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Amongst participants present were heads of departments, representatives of traditional authorities, Community Based organizations, Core Group Members, Assembly Staff, and representatives of Youth groups, Ghana Education Service, Ghana Health Service, WSMTs, and selected community members.