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District WASH Master Planning Facility

District Case Study: Asutifi North

Process | Progress and outcomes | Partnership

Where: Asutifi North district in Ghana's Ahafo Region.
Population: About 63,000 in 2017, projected to rise to 84,000 by 2030.
Number of institutions: There are about 12 health care facilities and 90 schools in the district.
Main challenge: to reach the unserved who live in the poorer and rural areas, and make sure that WASH services go from a basic level to being safely managed and sustainable.

The district WASH master plan in Asutifi North responds to these challenges. It strengthens the decentralisation of decision-making processes for service delivery to local stakeholders, while providing a platform for dialogue between everyone involved.


2017: Preparations and strategic diagnosis

In 2017, IRC Ghana together with Asutifi North District Assembly, brought together local and national government leaders, implementation partners, chiefs, market women, water service providers, private sector, local NGOs and sachet water producers under the Asutifi North Ahonidie Mpontuo (ANAM) initiative, to think about how to provide WASH services to everyone in the district.

An in-depth assessment of Asutifi-North's provision of water and sanitation services was conducted. This assessment included:

  • A context and gap analysis;
  • An assessment of the WASH service levels;
  • An inventory of available infrastructure.

2018: Master Plan development and launch

Under the ANAM initiative, a District WASH Master Plan was developed, that outlines each step that is required to get safe water and sanitation to everyone in the district. The plan formulation was led by local government, in consultations with all key stakeholders. It included:

  • The development of a joint vision: To ensure sustainable WASH service delivery so that 'every person in Asutifi North district will have access to safe and sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene services in a conducive environment where water resources are sustainably managed' – It would ensure that  52,000 people in Asutifi North are reached with basic, and 32,000 people with safely managed water services, and ensure that all 90 schools and 12 health care facilities have decent and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.
  • Development of a strategy for the development of WASH services for the medium (2021) and long (2030) term.
  • A costing and financing plan
  • A monitoring and evaluation framework of the plan

The Asutifi North WASH Master Plan was officially launched by the District Assembly on 16 March 2018. This allowed for full ownership and recognition of the strategy by all actors cooperating within the district. People working on WASH in Ghana and other parts of the world attended its launch ceremony in Asutifi North. Government leadership, supported by the Safe Water Strategy partnership, and coordinated by a hub – IRC – is at the heart of achieving the master plan's vision.

2018 to 2021: Implementation of the first phase of the master plan

This stage includes:

  • Hardware implementation by ANDA and its partners
  • Continuous marketing and social mobilisation for the master plan's implementation;
  • Fundraising for the implementation of the plan's components;
  • Monitoring, concertation and dialogue of progress made on the plan's implementation;

In 2019, IRC helped Asutifi North district to conduct a study to better understand all the life-cycle costs of achieving the district's 2030 vision and to identify the outstanding funding gaps.

In 2021, a review of the master plan implementation took place.

Progress and outcomes

Improved water services: By 2020, an estimated 11,500 people had experienced some level of water service improvement:

  • 7,000 people getting to safely managed services,
  • 4,500 people getting to basic water services,

This has been the result of the efforts of ANDA and its partners, guided by the master plan.

  • World Vision has built or rehabilitated a total of 37 water points in the district. The construction of an additional 15 boreholes is ongoing.
  • Two health care facilities have received water services, and construction at three other facilities is ongoing.
  • Six schools are receiving water services thanks to World Vision's efforts.
  • Safe Water Network is applying a safe water enterprise model to provide services in towns through two new, locally-operated water stations. Consumers pay for these water services, supporting their sustainability.
  • Water vendors have seen an average increase of 67% in their revenue since the kiosks have been introduced and they received a seed grant from Aquaya to purchase goods to sell. These initiatives are all endorsed by the District Assembly through its support for community sensitisation and providing its logo on the water kiosks.

Progress has been made, partly due to the district's relatively small size and compact geography, dedicated local leadership, well-aligned international partners and engaged citizens.

The District Assembly is showing political and financial commitment. The master plan has been incorporated into the district's medium-term development plans (2018-21 and 2022-2025. And the Assembly is co-financing the construction and rehabilitation of water systems in the district, investing in sanitation, and coordinating contributions from other key local actors in WASH.

Increased public funding for WASH: As a result of the partnership's collective work, in 2019 the District Assembly doubled its WASH budget allocations – including making investments in repairs and broken- down facilities (Capital Maintenance Expenditure - CapManEx) – and new partners are continuously joining the initiative to address gaps in the master plan.

The local mining company, is taking increased responsibility. It is complementing the efforts of the local government and partners by providing water facilities in communities where they operate.

The district's focus on water safety has increased. A new Water Quality Assurance Fund programme facilitates more frequent testing by Ghana Water Company Limited's regional laboratory and covers the cost of any unpaid tests.

The Asutifi North master planning process has been the starting point for collective action. Clear examples of successful collective action in and around Asutifi North include the following:

  • The district was able to respond quickly to COVID-19 challenges and will bring in new partners – like PATH – to support response activities especially in health care facilities designated for COVID-19 treatment.
  • The partnership works continuously to bring in new donors to address the gaps in funding sanitation and hygiene activities.

The National Development Planning Commission will share the lessons of the partnership's work in a WASH toolkit. This will guide planning and piloting of district master planning process in districts all over Ghana.


Partners involved in development and implementation of the Asutifi North Master Plan:

Local level:

  • Asutifi North District Assembly: Leading the master plan development and implementation
  • Asutifi North Traditional Leaders: Supporting the master plan development and implementation by leading by example
  • Water service providers: Water and Sanitation Management Teams (WSMTs), managing small town schemes: Implementing elements of the master plan related to performance improvement
  • Newmont Mining company: The local mining company, is taking increased responsibility. It is complementing the efforts of the local government and partners by providing water facilities in communities where they operate.

National level:

  • National Development Planning Commission: Overseeing and providing guidance to the development of long- and medium-term development plans, including the district WASH master plan.
  • Community Water and Sanitation Agency
  • Ghana Water Company Limited: Supporting water quality testing

International level:

  • Conrad N. Hilton Foundation: Providing funding for development and implementation of the Asutifi North district WASH master plan
  • Aquaya Institute: Focused on water quality and service provider performance issues
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Focused on WASH in health care facilities and schools
  • IRC: Playing a hub role, facilitating the development of the master plan and monitoring of its implementation
  • Netcentric Campaigns: Focused on communication activities under the ANAM initiative
  • PATH: Commercialises an on-site chlorine generator for drinking water treatment and infection prevention and control in low-resource health facilities, school and communities.
  • Safe Water Network: Implementation and operation of water stations in line with the master plan
  • World Vision: Implementation and rehabilitation of water facilities, in place with the master plan, and implementation of CLTS activities.


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