Orientation on the WASH toolkit for local authorities

Orientation on the WASH toolkit for local authorities

In Accra on October 27, 2021, the NDPC led an orientation session to sensitize the staff of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and stakeholders on the WASH tool kit developed by the NDPC with the support of IRC Ghana.

In Accra on October 27, 2021, the NDPC led an orientation session to sensitize the staff of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and stakeholders on the WASH tool kit developed by the NDPC with the support of IRC Ghana.

The WASH tool kit provides a compendium of tools to assist in WASH life cycle costing, undertaking inventory, improve WASH planning and governance. The Tool Kit is to equip Regional and Municipal Planning Officers in the MMDAs with the relevant knowledge and skills for minimum planning requirements for WASH services delivery.”

Dr. Kodjo Mensah-Abrampah, Director General of NDPC stated in his brief remarks, “I’m impressed with the level of participation and enthusiasm exemplified by contributions to make the WASH Tool kit more relevant to stakeholders.” According to him, getting the principles and application of the life cycle cost right is a good step towards good investment case for WASH programming. He indicated that the WASH life cycle cost analysis and approach is essential because of its linkages with prudent financial management and value-for-money which is critical in public financial management.

He indicated NDPC’s readiness to ‘sit at the table’ with NGOs and Development Partners to dialogue on matters of National Development Planning. He commended the IRC and its partners for the great programme and asked for more of such collaboration with the NDPC.

Leading the orientation session, Patience Ampomah, Planning Analyst at NDPC stated, “The NDPC has developed new planning guidelines to guide Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the 2022-2025 medium-term period. The WASH Tool kit has been incorporated in the new planning guidelines to guide WASH planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and issues such as water safety planning.

She highlighted the focus areas of the WASH Tool Kit, which include the following:

• WASH Planning: This area deals with both soft and hardware issues along the value chain
• Water Safety Planning: It deals with practical steps in the preparation of water safety plans. The key activities include capacity building and strengthening water and sanitation management teams. Issues of risks are prioritized, and mitigation measures noted.
• Life Cycle Costing: This area emphasises the need to plan, budget and provide for total cost of service delivery to ensure adequate and safe WASH to a specific population.
• WASH Inventory: Issues of documenting, monitoring, and updating WASH assets register
• WASH Governance: Key principles such as consensus, predictability, ethics, transparency, and broad participation are espoused in this section.

The key issues that compelled the development of the WASH Tool Kit were also outlined, including,
i) Inadequate planning for WASH services delivery
ii) Limited implementation of WASH activities
iii) Weak/limited resilience of WASH activities
iv) Weak WASH Governance system.

Hence, “the Tool Kit is designed to leverage on existing opportunities, sustain good practices for scale-up, strengthen WASH planning and improve WASH Governance at all levels. Hopefully, in doing this it would bridge planning, operations and management gaps and promote sustainable and equitable WASH services delivery,” Patience Ampomah added.

She acknowledged that the tool kit benefitted from technical support from the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR), Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) and IRC Ghana. And that the materials and resources such as National Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (2014) and CWSA operational manuals were also used as guiding documents in the preparation of the WASH toolkit.

Participants comprising Coordinating Directors and Planners from twelve MMDAs and stakeholders discussed the WASH toolkit and agreed on the following next steps – i) MMDAs tasked to review and submit comments on the tool kit to NDPC; ii) collatedMMDA’s feedback to be used to revise and finalize the tool kit for roll-out; iii) Finalization of MTDPs with the aim of strengthening WASH Planning.

On behalf of the MMDAs, Mr. Alhassan Ziblim, Sagnarigu Municipal Coordinating Director expressed appreciation to IRC Ghana and the NDPC for a well-organized workshop. He indicated that his Assembly has learnt a lot even though not a direct target District beneficiary. “We will employ some of the strategies to improve the fortunes of WASH in Sagnarigu Municipal Assembly.

Vida Duti, IRC Ghana Country Director commended the Director General and the NDPC team for the leadership and presentation; the MMDAs for their responsiveness and participation and other stakeholders for their active participation and discussions that made the orientation workshop a success as acknowledged from the impressions shared by participants.