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Published on: 12/02/2024

IRC Ghana together with partners convened inception engagements at the regional and district levels to announce the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' District-wide water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) project, which seeks to contribute to the main Ahafo Regional WASH programme. The regional WASH programme aims to deliver universal water, sanitation, and hygiene services to over 500,000 people by 2030.

At the regional level, the project team met with the leadership of the Ahafo Regional Coordinating Council (AhRCC) to present the project – highlights of main activities, objectives, and the specific areas of intervention. The team also reflected on key achievements of the previous interventions and discussed expected roles and responsibilities of local government and partners for the current project.

The Ahafo Regional Minister, Hon. George Yaw Boakye, gladly welcomed the extension of the intervention beyond one district, pledged the support of AhRCC and called on the leadership of the two beneficiary districts to own and facilitate the implementation of the intervention in their respective areas.

"I'm delighted the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are extending support beyond Asutifi North to Tano North Municipality, where the project will focus on increasing access to basic WASH services in schools and health care facilities. We are committed to this project, which is part of the Ahafo Regional WASH programme and urge the focused district leaders to step up, own and facilitate the implementation of the WASH inventions for the benefit of our people."

The project team together with the AhRCC, in separate sessions met with Asutifi North District Assembly and Tano North Municipal Assembly to announce the project. The two meetings each discussed the project details, objectives, and intervention areas in the respective districts; and the specific roles and expected outcomes clarified and buy-in secured.

Leading the Asutifi North District team on behalf of District Chief Executive, the District Coordinating Director, Mr. Samuel Badu-Baiden said,

"We are privileged to have the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints once again extend support to consolidate the gains that has been made in reaching our hard-to-reach communities, schools, and healthcare facilities. We are grateful for the generosity of Church and will as usual, take the lead as the local authority in driving the implementation of the initiative."

On his part, the Municipal Chief Executive for Tano North, Hon. Ernest Kwarteng stated,

"We are excited about this grant, which is to provide WASH services in schools and healthcare facilities in the municipality, and capacity strengthening support of the Assembly to enable us to sustain the investments. I'm happy the team has clarified the roles and responsibilities of partners in the implementation of the project. Our role as Assembly is clear and we are committed to the successful implementation of the initiative to help close the WASH access gap in the municipality."

Providing the background to the intervention, the IRC team stated that in 2020, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints joined the ANAM initiative to support the implementation of the WASH masterplan by expanding WASH services to hard-to-reach communities, schools, and HCFs. Over the past period, over 10,000 people in hard-to-reach communities, schools and healthcare facilities received improved WASH services and trained in infrastructure management to sustain the facilities.

Following the success of the past projects, the Church approved the district-wide WASH project (September 2023 – August 2024) to enable IRC to support the Ahafo Regional WASH programme.
The district wide WASH project in Ahafo Region focuses on improving the well-being of families in Tano North Municipality and Asutifi North District respectively. In the municipality of Tano North, the grant will deliver increase access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services in schools and health care facilities. It will also provide capacity building support to strengthen district assembly staff's capability to sustain and protect WASH services in Tano North municipality and Asutifi North district.

On the way forward, the IRC Ghana team indicated that with the successful completion of the inception consultations, the team will finalise agreements for full implementation and carry out planned capacity strengthening workshops to promote a culture of safeguarding and sustaining WASH investments in the beneficiary districts. The Ahafo Regional Development Planning Officer, Jacob Adade Ntiamoah commended the Church for the continued support for the regional WASH programme and called on other development partners to explore the District WASH Masterplans and invest in the key areas of need to accelerate progress towards universal WASH coverage in the region.

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