NGO helps 57 Nkwanta South communities end open defecation

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Social Sanitation Odf
Sanitation Odf

Global Communities, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) has supported 57 communities in the Nkwanta South Municipality to eliminate open defecation.

The NGO, which has been undertaking a USAID supported Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) for Health (W4H) project in the Municipality, took on 64 communities.

It helped construct over 1,500 household latrines as part of several interventions aimed at sustainable improvement in water and sanitation access, and to improve hygiene behaviours.

Mr. Hafiz Haruna, WASH Officer for the Municipality, at a meeting with stakeholders ahead of the five-year program’s end in September 2021, said over 12400 people benefited from the household latrine initiative.

He said the Municipality’s ranking on the national Open Defecation Free (ODF) league table has improved, and appreciated the efforts of all stakeholders including the 254 natural leaders the project identified and trained to aid community-led total sanitation.

The project constructed 37 community boreholes with hand pumps in addition to four limited mechanized water systems to supply safe water, which were piped into health facilities and other institutions.

A 100,000-litre capacity small town water supply system is ongoing at Bonakye.

Mr. Haruna said 13 public schools have become beneficiaries of improved latrines and have also received training on proper hygienic practices.

Placing priority also on improving hygiene behaviours, the project trained over 180 partners in the use of a WASH behavioural change communication package, and distributed over 60 such materials to departments leading the drive.

Girls in basic schools and their mothers were trained on menstrual hygiene management, and over 1,600 hand-washing stations were established to encourage handwashing and help improve hygiene.

The WASH officer said ongoing projects were being completed as the W4H neared its end, and outlined a number of follow-up activities.

Mr. Osman Musah, Municipal Chief Director, said though not the only NGO operating in the WASH sector in the Municipality, the contributions of Global Communities and the USAID were enormous, and significantly enhanced development.

“Development is linked to advancements in WASH and they have achieved a lot although they are not alone. Their achievements are very tangible and they have contributed to our development paradigm.

“We in Nkwanta South are very grateful to God for their Assistance,” he said, and further acknowledged the NGO’s support for governance through development planning.

He appealed to beneficiary communities to ensure the interventions lived out their intended purposes, and said the Environmental Health Department among other stakeholders should develop plans to ensure sustainability.

“Global Communities has shown us the way. Now that our eyes have opened, it is time for us to channel our own path.

“The sustainability does not lie with them. It lies with all of us, and community members have a bigger role to play. We must not relax after their exit. We must take care of all the facilities they left behind,” the Coordinator said.

Mr. John Thasun, Municipal Chief Executive, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the Assembly would engage all beneficiary communities towards ensuring that the various initiatives and gains made were sustained.

Cynthia Sekyere, Municipal Environmental Health Officer, said Global Communities entered the Municipality at a time when not even a single community had conquered open defecation, and said the Department would work hard to maintain successes chalked.

She also appealed to the communities to guard the interventions, saying “latrines must remain in use and they must not go back to pick old behaviour”.
David Yatima, Assembly Member for the Portripor community, praised the works of the NGO and prayed that an ongoing mechanized borehole project would be speedily delivered.

“Global Communities has actually come to eliminate a lot of challenges. My community has been declared open defecation free and a lot of boreholes have been dug.

“It is my prayer that even though the project has come to an end, they will come back with a different module to continue the good work they have done so far.

Mr. James Lomotey, Regional Coordinator for the W4H project, urged all stakeholders present to put all efforts together in ensuring that behavioural gains were sustained.

He facilitated partners sharing lessons learnt to impact future WASH projects in the Region.

Global Communities started implementing the W4H project in 2015 and has so far reached 35 municipalities and districts across 10 regions.

It involved over 1,700 communities and households within the communities benefited from a partnership with cement maker Ghacem and PVC manufacturer Duraplast that helped subsidize inputs for the construction of latrines.

The NGO also introduced the Digniloo, an innovative, quick install latrine system.

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