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Great Impression mark the second international learning visit: Ugandan delegation visits Asutifi District Assembly

From September 24th - 27th 2019, in Kenyasi, a delegation from the local government of the Kabarole district of Uganda and IRC Uganda paid a learning visit to Asutifi North district of Ahafo Region of Ghana to learn and share on the multi-country District Based Initiative for SDG6 being implemented in six countries including the two countries. The session ended on a good note with great expressions by the delegates andthe core staff of the Asutifi North District Assembly.

The enthusiastic participating delegates and staff of the Asutifi North District Assembly acknowledged the great learning session and knowledge obtained and pledge their full support for the achievement of their respective WASH Initiatives.

The first impression and demonstration of the district commitment was expressed by the District Chief Executive, Hon. Anthony Mensah, when he stated, “I am very happy that Asutifi North district is hosting a second learning exchange with another District from Africa. The first visit was from our Burkinabe and Ethiopian brothers who were here to learn from us the planning and partnership arrangement in achieving the ambitious goal of ensuring that all households in the District have Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Services by 2030”. The DCE underscored the strong commitment from the chiefs and staff of the assembly towards the initiative and added, “the district has provided counterpart funds and allocated 20% of the district budget for WASH related interventions.”

The second impression was expressed by the Administrator of the Kabarole District of Uganda, when she stated, “We are indeed delighted for the opportunity to learn and share experience with our colleagues in the Asutifi North District. At first, we didn’t know the meeting was going to end, but so far so good. As part of accountability, I can comfortably say the reason for our visit is almost 45% through. Thank you for the lessons learnt and your hospitality.”

The last impression expressed was by the Chairman of the Council of Kabarole District Uganda, when he commended the district for the progress in implementation of the WASH masterplan and expressed the desire of the delegation to apply the experience acquired from Asutifi North district in terms of all the learnings, the involvement of traditional authorities in development, water quality testing, resource mobilisation for the masterplan, and use of data for informing WASH intervention targeting back home.

As part of the visit, the delegation undertook a field trip to the project site to learn about the new water facilities and Water and Sanitation Management Teams in selected communities to support their planning towards the implementation of the WASH full coverage initiative. The team met with the water vendors and WSMTs in selected communities who are constructing their own toilet after being triggered as part of Community-Led Total Sanitation implementation, to understand the benefits of the boreholes and the toilets to the people.

The communities visited included Ntotroso and Panaba, and at each community the visitors were given the traditional Ghanaian welcome leaving lasting impression in the minds of the visitors. The visiting team expects a return visit from their Ghanaian counterparts in the near future.

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Kiosk for clean water

Pormaa, a 24 year old water vendor, stands in the water kiosk Aquaya has built in Ntotroso to formalize the sale of water at a price that’s is affordable for the community to help water systems reach their revenue potentials. All the revenue generated will be used to maintain the water system including repairs and water quality testing and treatment to ensure sustainability.

The vendor received a seed grant of up to 500 GHS from Aquaya to purchase soaps and detergents to sell from the water kiosk. Pwoama reported that the ‘seed grant’ influence the increase in revenue collection, which justify scaling up the intervention for qualitative comparative analysis of success drivers. She further estimated that the number of non-paying customers went down by over 50% since the kiosk was erected in May 2019.

Aquaya observed that this approach for revenue enhancement at water systems was moderately successful at some of the pilot sites and is now scaling up the program to evaluate what factors are associated with its success.

Oseikwamekrom averts looming danger

Oseikwamekrom is a farming community with an estimated population of 150. The community is located towards the Eastern part of the Asutifi North District. Previously, the people were using traditional pit, which is about 3-minutes’ walk away from the community. During periods of occupancy at the pit, some community members especially the opposite sex resorted to open defecation. According to the people, children below 5 years resort to open defecation because they can not risk using the pit. As part of the implementation of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) in the Asutifi North District, the ANAM initiative partner, World Vision International trained the community members and natural leaders, and the community triggered to build their own traditional pit latrines.

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