Third ANAM WASH Town Hall Meeting Reviews Progress of Implementation
IRC Ghana in collaboration with the Asutifi North District Assembly organized the third annual town hall meeting on October 27, 2020 in Kenyasi to provide updates on the progress of implementation of the WASH masterplan and to receive feedback from citizens on areas that are going well and others that need improvements.
The Asutifi North District Assembly and Hilton grantee partners have worked together since 2017, strengthening local government systems towards bringing safe and reliable drinking water and sanitation to the District through the implementation of the ANAM WASH masterplan. The implementation is currently in progress with appreciable gains made in respect of water provision.
The District Chief Executive, Hon. Anthony Mensah in his opening address at the meeting lauded the CNHF grantees and the people of Asutifi North District for collectively working to put the district on the path of progress towards realizing the 2030 vision of universal WASH services for everyone. According to him, more than 27 communities have been served with water facilities within the period with the proportion of residents using safely managed water more than doubled between 2017 and 2020.
The DCE announced that the District is moving away from the construction of public latrines for communities to the facilitation of the construction household latrines through the Community Led Total Sanitation and Sanitation Marketing Models. In addition, the District Works Department will strictly enforce the building regulations by ensuring that every new building has a toilet in it.
The District Planning Officer Mr. James Atta-Era in his presentation announced to the public that the District Assembly together with Aquaya and Ghana Water Company Limited have established the water quality assurance fund in the district, and 10 water systems have been supported to undertake bi-weekly water quality testing to inform remedial actions around water safety. In addition, he outlined the short- and long-term water treatment solutions required to address water quality issues: aquatabs, boiling educational campaign on water treatment, In-chlorination for piped systems and chlorine dispensers.
It was unanimously agreed by participants that, selling of aquatabs at the various point sources are the most favorable short-term solution for disinfection of water sources across the district. However, the participants urge the district assembly and partners to explore the most favorable medium to long term sustainable water treatment options to ensure water quality in the district.
The enthusiastic participants concede the huge progress of the initiative within the period and promised their full support for the project to achieve universal WASH coverage in the district. However, some issues were raised by the participants during the meeting as follows:
In the meeting, the irregular emptying of refuse containers at vantage points across the district was raised. In response to this, the DCE said the district assembly has engaged the Zoomlion Ghana on the matter and it is expected there will be an improvement in the emptying of the skip containers at vantage points.
In addition, the question of the starting and finishing dates, as well as the management model for the proposed Kenyasi No. 1 small-town piped system came up. The DCE responding to the issue said the project when commence is expected to be completed within three months. According to him all the initial assessment for the project is done and construction will commence within few days. On the management model, he indicated the project will be managed by a certified private sector for a period and appropriate management model will be determined by a committee for the system.
Furthermore, an assembly member suggested for the adoption of Pay-As-you-dump approach to fully sustain WASH delivery in the district. In response, the DCE charged the Assembly members to duly sensitize their community members to get to understand the brain behind the introduction of the Pay-As-you-fetch approach before its implementation.
Participated at the meeting applauded the district and its partners for their efforts in expanding water services to many communities, schools, and health care facilities. However, the need to pay attention to providing water and sanitation services to unserved populations to ensure no one is left behind was also reiterated.
The annual town hall meeting platform on WASH enables citizens to directly engage with staff of the district assembly and ANAM partners to ask questions and demand accountability from duty bearers. About 130 participants, including chiefs, queen mothers, Assembly members, Head of Departments, CSOs, CNHF Grantees, NGOs, Persons with Disability, service providers, market women, youth groups, and the media were present at the meeting.
MR. JAMES A. ATA-ERA, DPO
HON. ANTHONY MENSAH - DCE