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Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Disaster Prone Communities (DPC) in Northern Ghana

Background

With support from the Department of Global Affairs (DGA) of the Government of Canada, UN-Habitat working jointly with UNICEF, UNDP and WHO entered into a partnership with World Vision International in Ghana to implement a component of the “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Disaster Prone Communities in Northern Ghana” programme. The programme focuses on providing resilient WASH facilities and improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene for around 200,000 people living in 265 communities dispersed across 24 districts of the 3 Northern Regions in Ghana – Upper West, Upper East and Northern regions.

 

Access to safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene is fundamental to poverty reduction and socio-economic development. Unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene practices reduce productivity and increase healthcare costs, trapping communities in a perpetual cycle of poverty. When safe water is close to the home, it reduces the time spent searching for water. Women and girls are saved the health risk of carrying water over long distances which also exposes them to further risks. This improves their health and creates opportunity for them to undertake productive, income generation activities.

Unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene practices are linked to malnutrition and diseases such as diarrhoea, trachoma, cholera, fluorosis and helminth infections that kill children or stunt their growth and development. There is also a strong link between sustainable access to WASH and access to basic education. If children have to travel long distances and spend several hours every day in search of water, they get to school late and already tired for any effective academic activity. Girls, especially those who have reached the age of puberty, do not often find the school environment friendly when water is unavailable or toilet facilities lack privacy, are unsafe or are non-existent.

 

Agreement of Cooperation

Under Lot 1 (22 communities), Lot 3 (26 communities) and Lot 4 (34 communities) of the Agreement of Cooperation, World Vision Ghana worked with UN-Habitat and other local partners in 82 disaster prone communities to co-create sustainable solutions that provided access to safe water for 10 districts in the Northern and Upper West Regions. The beneficiary districts include Jirapa, Nadowli-Kaleo and Wa East of the Upper West Region and Zabzugu, Tatale-Sanguli, Kpandai, Saboba, Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo, Central Gonja, Sagnarigu and Tamale Metropolis of the Northern Region.

Project interventions       

Through its Ghana Integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (GI-WASH) program, World Vision International successfully delivered the following interventions:

  • Limited Solar mechanised water systems

In collaboration with competitively selected private contractors, World Vision has completed 6 No. limited solar mechanized water systems in 2 districts of the Northern Region, namely Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo and Tatale-Sanguli. The beneficiary communities are Bunkpurugu, Nakpanduri, Binbagu,Jilik No. 1 and Yunyoo all in the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo District and Lakpale in the Tatale-Sanguli District. The solar option saves communities and the District Assemblies from payment of high electricity bills, thereby promoting the financial viability of the facilities.

 

  • New boreholes fitted with handpumps

With support from the District Assemblies and volunteers in beneficiary communities, World Vision has also completed 61 No. new boreholes fitted with handpumps (Ghana Modified India Mark II). Six (6) boreholes are located in Siiru, Meguo, Mantari, Sabaala, Yaali in the Nadowli-Kaleo District and Kulkpong in the Wa East District of the Upper west Region. Twenty-two (22) boreholes have been completed in the Central Gonja, Kpandai, Zabzugu, Tatale-Sanguli and Sangnarigu Districtsand Tamale Metropolis, while 33 boreholes have also been completed in the Saboba and Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo Districts of the Northern Region.

 

  • Rehabilitation of broken down boreholes

The project has also completed the rehabilitation of 51 broken down and non-functioning boreholes in the Jirapa, Nadowli-Kaleo and Wa East Districts of the Upper West Region and the Bunkpurugu-Yunyoo and Saboba Districts of the Northern Region.

  • Connection to GWCL water supply network

Even though it was originally not part of the project design, 5 communities have been connected unto the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) water supply network in collaboration with the water company. This became necessary after preliminary studies proved that it was technically not feasible to provide the affected communities with either boreholes or limited mechanized water systems.

  • Flood resilient apronsaround boreholes

To ensure that water facilities remain accessible and safe in the event of disaster (especially flooding), the project has completed the construction of 44 No. flood resilient aprons and platforms around boreholes in disaster prone communities in all the beneficiary districts of the Upper West and Northern Regions.

Sustainability measures   

  • Training of WSMTsand CBOs

In line with the country’s community ownership and management approach as part the Community Water and Sanitation Strategy, all 82 beneficiary communities had Water and Sanitation Management Teams (WSMTs) formed/activated and trained. This is a sustainability measure which facilitates the post construction operation and maintenance of the facilities. As part of the training program, selected community based organizations were also trained.

  • Provision ofpump repair tool kits to pump mechanics and caretakers

To ensure that pump mechanics and caretakers have basic tools with which to attend to minor breakdown of water facilities, the project has provided 27 No. maintenance / repair tool kits to beneficiary communities. Caretakers and pump mechanics have already received basic training in borehole operation and maintenance.

 

  • Savings Groups supported with operational tool kits

As part of the sustainability mechanism of the WASH in DPC project, World Vision has provided 26 No.Savings Groups with tool kits to facilitate their operations. Savings Groupsare simple, transparent and autonomous locally run groups which enable members to save together, lend their savings to each other and share the profits. Members provide their own savings and credit services at negligible cost, while retaining earnings and investment in their own communities. Themodelallows community members to reduce poverty, improve their economic conditions and empower people to take control of their lives. It also makes it possible for people with special needs, the elderly or people living with disabilities to be able to participate and save money within their community. With improved household income, community members are able to contribute towards the operation and maintenance and the sustainability of water facilities.

 

  • SMS basedelectronic platform for functionality monitoring

To promote the continuous functionality and sustainability of water facilities through effective monitoring and prompt supplyof spare parts to communities to ensure faster turnaround time in fixing broken down boreholes, allbeneficiary communities have been trained and set-up on an SMS based electronic platform for monitoring the functionality of water systems. Managed by Skyfox Ltd.,thisproprietary platformenables communities to report breakdown of water facilities to area mechanics using mobile phones, report status of pumps on monthly basis, and order and pay for spare parts on the platform without any physical movement to spare parts outlets. Participants, who were mainly drawn from various Water and Sanitation Management Teams (WSMTs), also received training on financial management, record keeping and how to raise funds towards repair of broken down pumps. This is expected to benefit both communities and donors by providing ready access to spare parts, thus ensuring sustainability of investments in community water delivery.

About World Vision

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian, advocacy and development organisation dedicated to working to transform the lives of children, families and communities worldwide so they mayreach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.World Vision started working in Ghana in 1979 pursuing integrated community development interventions to alleviate the needs of the poor through community development projects thattargeted small communities. The organization’s vision for every child “life in all its fullness”drives it to co-create sustainable solutions to development challenges that delivers safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for poor and deprived communities in remotest parts of the country. In addition to WASH, World Vision also delivers interventions in health, nutrition and HIV/AIDS, education and life skills, food security and resilience and child protection.

About UN-Habitat

On 1 January 1975, the UN General Assembly established the United Nations Habitat and Human Settlements Foundation (UNHHSF), the first official UN body dedicated to urbanization. Then under the umbrella of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), its task was to assist national programmes relating to human settlements through the provision of capital and technical assistance, particularly in developing countries.The first international UN conference to fully recognize the challenge of urbanization was held in 1976 in Vancouver, Canada. This conferenceresulted in the creation, on 19 December 1977, of the precursors of UN-Habitat: the United Nations Commission on Human Settlements (an intergovernmental body), and the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (commonly referred to as “Habitat”).

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