WatSan Committees must work to consolidate the gains in WASH

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Watsan Gains

Mr Richard Anani Adortse, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of People for Health (P4H) has encouraged the Committees at the local level tasked to manage water systems to continue in their voluntary work to guarantee the maintenance of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities in their communities.

He said this is the only guarantee towards making the resource available to the communities and at the same time maintaining hygiene and healthcare.

He expects the Assemblies to support a continuous dialogue with Water Sanitation Management Teams (WSMTs) and the community leaders for a win-win situation.

Mr Adortse said these at the P4H organised workshop for Water and Sanitation Committees (WatSan)/WSMTs in the Adaklu District at Goefe as part of the project’s WASH activities for the year.

SEND GHANA leads a consortium of three organisations working on P4H’s five-year project – Penplusbytes and the Ghana News Agency.

The project is aimed at improving access to quality health service delivery in 20 districts from five regions including; the Greater Accra, Eastern, Northern, Volta and the Oti.

It seeks to strengthen organisational and institutional capacities of government and other stakeholders, to attain mutual accountability in the formulation and implementation of policies in health, water, sanitation and nutrition.

Mr Adortse said their study attested that levels between the Assemblies and the WSMTs was non-existent in many instances leading to the dysfunctional WatSan Committees and inability to generate revenue from the sale of water for maintenance purposes.

He said community ownership of water and sanitation facilities had dipped due to the neglect by stakeholders to continue with structures bequeathed to especially the communities and WatSan/WSMT Committees, which suggest a revival to strengthen these structures.

Mr Godwin Dogbe, Adaklu District Environmental Officer, reminded participants on how to re-activate all dormant water and sanitation Committees and for it to render the services for which they were established.

He said maintaining the capacity of the Committees was important as the commodity they superintend over and key to the management of the community water supply systems.

He suggested mainstreaming of the youth into the concept was imperative because they were the agents who draw water and must be central to planning, management and usage of the resource.

He said bringing the concept closer to the youth would prevent misunderstanding, vandalism and thievery of parts of the water system and consolidate reversion to other unhygienic and unclean sources of water.

Mr Eben Carboo-Hartog, Field Officer, SEND Ghana, said lack of coordination at the Assembly and community level has deepened the gap between WSMTs and the structures mandated to work at the local level.

Mr Samual Yao Atidzah, Adaklu District Focal Person on water and Sanitation, said the training was crucial as it would re-activate the dysfunctional Committees and bring sanity to the sector at the local level.

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