CRS implementing phase two of ICOWASH project

Michael Gyimah
Michael Gyimah

The Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organization is implementing the second phase of the Integrated Community Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement (ICOWASH) project dubbed “ICOWASH 2.0”

The project replicates the ICOWASH model with special attention on developing the value chains on Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) products and services, strengthening partnerships with government and the private sector and fostering community ownership and sustainability.

Mr Michael Gyimah, the Head of Operations of the CRS who disclosed this at this year’s World Water Day celebration on the theme “Valuing Water and held at Walewale in the North East Region, said “We have secured an additional US$6.6 million from the Helmsley Charitable Trust to implement the second phase of the ICOWASH project.”

He said the project would run for three years and would improve community sanitation and hygiene behaviour using Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and enhance the sanitation service chain.

Mr Gyimah said as part of the project component, the WASH infrastructure and behaviour change activities in schools, health care facilities and communities were being upgraded, while there would be extensive intervention and engagement of government and private sector for adoption and up scaling of the ICOWASH.

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He said the CRS in Ghana had recognised the need to support the Government of Ghana to deliver on its mandate of improving access to safe drinking water in communities and institutions.

“As a result, CRS has collaborated with selected Assemblies, Ghana Education Service and the Ghana Health Services to provide WASH services to deprived communities and needy institutions,” he said.

He said the implementation of the Integrated Sanitation, Hygiene and Nutrition Education (I-SHINE) project and the ICOWASH project from 2014 to October 2020, had resulted in significant changes in WASH outcomes in beneficiary communities and institutions within the Talensi District in the Upper East Region, and the West Mamprusi Municipality in the North East Region.

He said a survey by the CRS showed that access to safely manage household sanitation had increased from 27 per cent to 70 per cent, while safe water access had increased from 62 per cent to 98.5 per cent in beneficiary communities due to the WASH interventions.

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He thanked development and government partners, and traditional authorities who had contributed in various ways to improve the water, sanitation and hygiene situation in Ghana.

The North East Regional Director of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), Mr Gustav Merrit Osiakwan, said the Agency facilitated the provision of water through the building of water facilities in the communities.

He said to attain the Sustainable Development Goal six, which indicated “Clean water and sanitation for all,” the CWSA initiated reforms with several pillars, and one of the pillars was to manage the reforms professionally.

On water connection charges, the Director explained that there were no fixed rates for household connections as that was based on the distance of the water line to one’s home and the size of the pipeline to tap from.

Mr Issahaku Arimeyaw Somo Lucky Basintale, the Municipal Chief Executive of the West Mamprusi Municipal Assembly who chaired the function, reaffirmed the assurance of the Assembly to support the CRS to implement the ICOWASH 2.0 project.

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He also called for the continuous support of traditional authorities and the people of West Mamprusi for a successful project implementation.

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