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NDPC leads MMDA orientation on the WASH toolkit

Published on: 31/01/2022

In Accra on October 27, 2021, the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) led an orientation session to sensitise the staff of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and stakeholders on the WASH toolkit developed by NDPC with the support of IRC Ghana.

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

Dr. Kodjo Mensah-Abrampah, Director General of NDPC

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 toolkit more relevant to stakeholders.” According to him, getting the principles and application of the life-cycle costs right is a good step towards good investment cases 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 IRC and its partners for the great programme and asked for more similar collaborations with NDPC.

Patience Ampomah, Planning Analyst at 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 toolkit 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 toolkit, 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. Risks are prioritised, and mitigation measures noted.
  • Life-Cycle Costing: This area emphasises the need to plan, budget and provide for the total costs of service delivery to ensure adequate and safe WASH to a specific population.
  • WASH Inventory: Issues of documenting, monitoring, and updating WASH assets registers.
  • WASH Governance: Key principles such as consensus, predictability, ethics, transparency, and broad participation are advocated in this section.

The key issues that compelled the development of the WASH toolkit were also outlined, including:

  1. Inadequate planning for WASH service delivery
  2. Limited implementation of WASH activities
  3. Weak/limited resilience of WASH activities
  4. Weak WASH governance system.

Hence, “the toolkit 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 service delivery,” Patience Ampomah added. 

She acknowledged that the toolkit 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 the National Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (2014) and CWSA operational manuals were also used as guiding documents in the preparation of the WASH toolkit.

Discussion about the WASH Toolkit in Ghana in 2021

Participants comprising Coordinating Directors and Planners from twelve MMDAs and stakeholders discussed the WASH toolkit and agreed on the following next steps:

  1. MMDAs tasked to review and submit comments on the toolkit to NDPC;
  2. collate MMDAs' feedback to be used to revise and finalise the toolkit for roll-out;
  3. finalisation of the Medium-Term Development Plans 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-organised 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.

Patience Ampomah, Planning Analyst at NDPC (left) and Vida Duti, IRC Ghana Country Director (right)

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.