AQUAYA INSTITUTE TO RENEW ITS WATER TESTING PROGRAM WITH WSMTS
The pilot water testing program run by Aquaya Institute throughout last year officially ended in January 2021. Community water systems in Kenyasi No.2, Ntotroso, Kensere, and Gambia partook in the pilot phase of the Water testing program in addition to the district assembly’s handpumps located in Kenyasi. The pilot program which was run in collaboration with the Ghana Water Company Limited, the Asutifi North District Assembly, and WSMT created an avenue for monthly water testing to be conducted on some boreholes and piped water systems within the district at a subsidized cost.
With the pilot phase coming to an end, Aquaya Institute embarked on a series of meetings with WSMT in these communities to ascertain their interest in continuing the monthly water testing initiative. This was particularly crucial as the pilot phase had the cost of testing subsidized up to 83% in some cases. All WSMT engaged have confirmed their interest to continue the monthly water testing initiative thus Aquaya will in the coming weeks review and renew contractual agreements with the District Assembly and Ghana Water Company to ensure water testing continues for the rest of the year.
AQUATABS DISTRIBUTION CONTINUES WITH COMMUNITY SENSITIZATION
The distribution of Aquatabs to WSMT in some communities in the district continued in the month of February. The Aquatabs which provided an extra layer of protection against water contamination remain essential in the efforts to ensure safely treated water is consumed by members of the community.
To foster the patronage of Aquatabs by members of rural communities like Panaba, Agravi, Gambia No.2, Kensere, and Goatifi, trained staff of the Assembly embarked on face-to-face community meetings to sensitize members on water safety and treatment. In urban centers however, Community Information Centers were employed to sensitize community members since face-to-face meetings would be challenging to organize.
Aquaya Institute will continue to track the patronage of Aquatabs by community members in the coming weeks and months to ascertain if sensitization efforts are resonating with community members.
PILOTING OF TARGETED SUBSIDY PROJECT IN WAMAHINSO
As part of piloting the Targeted Subsidy project in the Asutifi North District, community consultative sessions were held in Wamahinso to identify poor and vulnerable persons, who are also the target beneficiaries of the project. The consultative sessions and the identification process will be referenced to the LEAP list to verify if those identified were on the LEAP list and vice versa.
SANITATION AND HYGIENE SERVICES FOR HARD-TO-REACH
IRC in partnership with the Asutifi North District Assembly and World Vision international have commenced inception activities for the implementation of a new project targeted at providing sanitation and hygiene services for selected hard to reach communities and school in the Asutifi North District. The one-year project is financed by the Latter-day Saints Charity and is expected to be concluded by November 2021.
Through this project the implementing partners (IRC, WVI, and ANDA) and the project financier LDSC aim to develop WASH infrastructure in five schools, five rural communities, and sixty households, while building the capacity of thirty district officials and seventy-five service providers and stakeholders in Asutifi North district.
Infrastructure expected to be developed include 1 concrete tower, solar farm, and plumbing accessories & standpipe to serve two schools. Also, permanent handwashing stations and 6-seater KVIPs with allied facilities and changing room for girls would be developed in 5 schools. The project would also construct boreholes in 3 schools and five communities.
The implementing partners of the project undertook alignment and planning meetings in February towards the implementation of project activities in subsequent months.
ANAM WASH DESK UPDATES
The WASH desk in the month of February received a few requests from constituents of the district.
Mr. Stephen Awuah from Donkokrom reached out to the WASH Desk to request for his household borehole to be mechanized and piped into the house. He explained that mechanization will help reduce the time spent extracting water from the borehole to be used in this home, particularly now that schools have resumed. His request was channeled by the was desk to the appropriate quarters for action to be taken.
Hon. Bawah Isaka from Esenenim community also contacted the WASH Desk to notify the assembly of a broken-down borehole in the community. The complaint has since been taken up and an operator has been contacted to work on the borehole.
Finally, Mr. Obour from Yaw Oseikrom in Goamu phoned the WASH Desk to complain about a broken-down borehole in the community. His complaint has also been channeled by the desk to the appropriate quarters for attention.
ANAM MONTHLY RADIO SHOW.
The 24th edition of the ANAM monthly WASH Radio show was came off on the 25th of February 2021 at Anapua FM. The 24th edition was dedicated to educating listeners of the radio station on COVID 19 and the essence of proper hand washing and personal hygiene. The show invited resource persons from the District Health Directorate (Mr. Salam) and District Education Office (Patricia Ohenwa Larbi– SHEP Coordinator).
The resources persons provided a general update on the COVID-19 situation in the District and reemphasized on the safety and prevention protocols laid out by WHO and Ghana Health Service. The resource person from the District Health Directorate shared general observation made during their sensitization activities in schools across the district after schools reopened this year. The resource persons also shared some measures that district authorities were putting in place to address some practices that could compromise the fight against the spread of COVID 19 in schools in the district. They also used the platform to educate and encourage listeners on the vaccination campaign.
Finally, the resource persons shared thoughts on the role parents, teachers and students must play in promoting good hand and personal hygiene in schools.
Water Sample Collection and Disinfection by WVI
As part of efforts to ensure that water is free from pathogens, and elevated levels of harmful substances always, WVI through the GIWASH water quality laboratory collected samples on 10 new boreholes and equally disinfected the wells. The disinfection method used targeted the removal of bacteria and viruses and other microbes in water to prevent water borne diseases, thereby making water safe for drinking. The laboratory tests proved that all the wells tested were free from microbial contamination, nonetheless two wells were identified to be turbid. Efforts will be made to resolve the turbidity either through redevelopment or replacement of the boreholes.
CLTS Triggering Activities
WVI in collaboration with the Asutifi North District Assembly conducted pre-triggering and triggering activities in 12 new communities out of 25 communities targeted for the year. The objective of the pre triggering activities was to collect community baseline data on sanitation in the communities before triggering and post triggering activities. The triggering process is designed to ignite a feeling of disgust among community members against open defecation.
WVI in collaboration with the Asutifi North District Assembly continues conducting follow up monitoring of 21 communities pending DICCS and RICCS verification. So far, 40 households have dug their pit, while 23 have completed their latrines. The facilitators in conjunction with the communities have since identified and selected natural leaders for training.