The Annual stakeholders' review meeting for the ANAM WASH initiative came off on December 07. The review meeting enabled stakeholders to discuss the implementation of the WASH master plan. In his opening address, the Coordinating Director, Mr. Samuel Badu-Baiden, said the Asutifi North District is committed to the success of the ANAM WASH initiative. He indicated the district’s readiness to increase investments in WASH to keep up with population growth.
"When you take a look at the water project we are doing at Kenyasi No. 1, 160,000 US Dollars has been invested in it. And that is just one water system for one community out of 58 communities", Mr. Samuel Badu-Baiden
The District Coordinating Director added that the National Development Planning Commission had adopted the ANAM WASH master plan to guide other Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies across the country.
The District Planning Officer, Mr. James Ata-Era, presented on the progress of implementation of the WASH Master plan. He mentioned that water services has increased in schools, health care facilities and some communities. He added that about 61,068 people in the district have improved water services. This progress notwithstanding, some 7,700 people still do not have safe drinking water services, and the district is working with its partners to address this gap. Mr. Ata-Era also talked about the WASH Desk that the district had established to receive citizens' WASH-related complaints. He mentioned that the district had resolved about 167 complaints received through the WASH Desk. Some of the challenges that the district recounted as affecting WASH delivery include:
- The government's free water policy, which has negatively impacted the financial position of some water management teams;
- Limited financing of the sanitation component of the master plan;
- Difficulties in attracting Civil Society Organizations to participate in the master plan implementation; and
- The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The stakeholders talked about the need for regular water quality testing and stressed how such practices could ensure water safety for consumers. The review meeting also discussed that completing the Kenyasi No.1 Small-Town Water system would ease pressure on the water facilities that currently serve the community. Water and Sanitation Management Teams (WSMTs) in the district were encouraged to ensure to operational efficiencies and adopt proper accounting systems to sustain the water facilities they manage. Some stakeholders believed that the district’s traditional authorities should be engaged to actively lobby for additional financing for the project and help implement the sanitation component of the master plan. The stakeholders called for strict enforcement of building regulations and the sanitation by-laws by the District Assembly.
The 2021 review meeting brought together civil society groups, water and sanitation management teams, traditional authorities, and the Hilton grantees, including IRC Ghana, World Vision International, and the Aquaya Institute. The Coordinating Director and heads of the finance, planning, works,and environmental health departments represented the district assembly.