IRC Ghana on Friday, November 25 ended a 5-day workshop for local Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and selected Asutifi North District Assembly staff on CLTS.

In 2020, the first thorough review of progress, documented in the ANAM Midterm Review of the WASH Master Plan, showed strong leadership by the District Assembly and commitment from partners to deliver Master Plan targets. In terms of services, good progress had been made with access to water services. However, sanitation and hygiene services were lagging behind and needed more focus.

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) were identified within the WASH masterplan to support WASH through allied action, advocacy, and engagement with the people to build popular support and transparency within the initiative. Five CSOs were engaged through a detailed and fair procurement process in the first phase of partnering with the CSO. All five CSOs performed outstandingly in their various tasks. This presented an opportunity for the CSOs to build on the existing platforms in carrying behaviour change campaigns.

The project which is funded by Latter Day Saints Charities seeks to help 25 communities to stop open defecation, support 60 vulnerable households to build their own latrines, and build sanitation facilities in 5 schools and 2 healthcare centres.

The first session of the training which was facilitated by officials from Afram Plains Development Organization, APDO focused on the process of CLTS whereas the second session which was facilitated by officials from the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources focused on BaSIS, a data system that keeps sanitation information.

Sanitation and Resource Mobilization Officer for IRC, Harriet Onita Botchwey explaining the choice to engage CSO’s said, “Previously, they were on board for small grants to drive handwashing and behavioural change activities. They already have platforms in the system where they engage these communities so it was a good idea to bring them on board to support the district on CLTs activities”.

She added that “the end goal is sustainability. You don’t want to give somebody a gift and two days when you come back the gift is on the floor. Years on when we come back, we want to see the facilities in good shape and the communities still engaging in good sanitation practices”.

Participating CSO’s were SUDEF Ghana, GADeF International, Phanuel Global Health Group, Firm Foundation, and Universal Rehabilitation Centre.

A representative from GADeF International, Evans Awuni believes, “the workshop has enhanced us a lot. Most times, we don’t have the techniques we need to facilitate or help people. So, this particular workshop, especially the training on field facilitation will enable us to deliver our work effectively”.