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IRC and the Safe Water Network are piloting a sustainable service delivery approach at district level.
IRC, Safe Water Network and partners with the support of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation have launched the District Based Full WASH Coverage start-up initiative for Asutifi North District in Ghana's Brong-Ahafo Region. This initiative will develop a district-level master plan for achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) target of universal water and sanitation coverage by 2030. It builds on an earlier three-year project funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation in 2014.
Over the past five years progress in extending water and sanitation coverage to villages and small towns has slowed down. Broken down systems and lack of financing are some of the challenges facing the sector.
On the positive side, steps have been taken to make water and sanitation services more sustainable. In 2012, Ghana's Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) adopted the service delivery approach and revised its operational guidelines to include tools and elements to support this process. The SMARTerWASH initiative created a national data-base on water services and the performance of service providers in 131 out of the 216 districts in Ghana. It also set up SMS systems for repair services in about 200 communities in 6 regions in Ghana.
At the launch event on 16 March, IRC Ghana Country Director Vida Duti stated that the District Based Full WASH Coverage start-up initiative "marks the inauguration of an inception period for a long term district based and water services governance and systems programme with the Hilton Foundation". She added that it "will be used as a pilot for developing a long-term plan to respond to the challenges of the WASH sector with the target of providing full coverage by 2030 in the [Asutifi North] district".