Mr Worlanyo K. Siabi, the Upper West Regional Director of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), has said the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Project (SRWSP) is facing some implementation challenges.
He said the SRWSP was unable to achieve some of its implementation targets due to a number of challenges at the community and the implementing agency levels. “It would be appropriate to say that there are lapses in the implementation of the project rather than concluding that it has failed,” he said.
The CWSA Director was reacting to a statement at a forum organised in Wa for municipal and district chief executives traditional rulers, political parties and other stakeholders to assess the achievements of the project regarding water, sanitation and hygiene status in the region.
The CWSA organised the forum for the stakeholders to also identify challenges confronting the component of the project, outline the lessons learnt under the project component and recommend pragmatic solutions to deal with bottlenecks associated with the project before its closure in June 2017.
Mr Siabi explained that attaining the status of Open Defecation Free was challenging and demanded commitment to ensure the acceptance of the practice in the communities to facilitate successful implementation.
He expressed confidence that the Agency and stakeholders would work assiduously to overcome the challenges and achieve the project’s targets of providing 20 small town pipe systems, 550 boreholes, 55 institutional latrines and the promotion of sanitation and hygiene in 500 communities in the Region by June 2017.
He urged the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to enforce bye-laws to compel private developers to obtain building permits before they could commence the construction of their buildings.
“MMDAs could design standard building plans and factor in household latrines of different types at the assemblies to help prospective landlords to opt for their desired building plans to help ease the process of obtaining building permits,” Mr Siabi said.
Mr Nkrumah Evans, Project Manager of Phibeta Consult Limited, noted that the project, which started with six districts in the Region, had now been extended to the remaining five districts. He explained that difficulties in accessing some beneficiary communities, misunderstanding between some community members about the sitting of the borehole and delay in payment of claims by some Ministries Departments and Agencies among others, were some of the challenges hampering the effective implementation of the project.
Mr Saaka Bukari, a Community Development Specialist at Water Vision observed that behavioural change was a major means of achieving the set targets for the project. He expressed disappointment at the indifferent attitude of some people towards the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) concept in spite of all sensitisation efforts.
Mr Bukari said a baseline study conducted in Piina and Sombo, revealed that some households had latrines without hand washing facilities, some schools had no sanitation facilities while in some schools both males and females paired one facility due to insufficiency of the facilities. He however said in the efforts to improve the situation through capacity building and other activities, 225 household latrines, 151 in Piina and 74 in Sombo, had been constructed and put into use.
Mr Bukari therefore urged the public to embrace the CLTS concept so as to improve their sanitation and personal hygiene.