Strategic Goals

Goal 1: Building partnerships and networks with relevant stakeholders in order to increase access to water and sanitation for the poor and vulnerable in urban, peri-urban and rural areas

Key Objectives

  • Broaden and deepen relations with existing partners and networks/platforms whilst working towards developing new alliances and partnerships.
  • Document and share information to enhance partnership development

Key Strategies

CONIWAS will:

  1. Foster communication between the Secretariat and partners on regular basis
  2. Work to establish regular dialogue and share information with district, regional, national, and international partners and platforms
  3. Work to develop mechanisms for collecting and disseminating information on ‘best practices’ on partnerships and alliance building toward advocacy
  4. Collect and disseminate information on impact of WASH-related policies and strategies as a basis for advocating for improved services for the poor.
  5. Work with government agencies to review and reform the legal and regulatory frameworks 
  6. Coordinate and work with international platforms as ANEW, FAN, ECOWAS and contribute to the formation of sub-regional platform for WASH.
  7. Engage, through a mechanism of regular consultation, with multi-lateral agencies in the country on the role civil society in WASH Issues. This will include a focus on monitoring, evaluating and reporting on the implementation of the MDGs, and other multi-lateral agreements in the region
  8. Improve the flow of information between WASH Sector NGOs and the public at district, national, regional and international levels
  9. Coordinate and support regular dialogue between CONIWAS and the media at the district national, regional and district levels
  10. Compile information on strategies for creating effective relationships between the public, the media and civil society

 

Expected Outcomes

  1. Platform to engage the media and stakeholders established and functional
  2. Sub-regional (West Africa) network/platform established and functional
  3. Published information on best practices on strategies/policies enabling the poor have access to improve WASH Services
  4. Strategy for engaging Media developed and functional

 

Enabling the Poor and Marginalized Population Develop a Voice – Current Situation

WASH-related poverty is one of the dimensions of poverty in the country. Though statistics indicates that Ghana is on course to achieving the MDG target for water, there exist disparities in access in the urban, peri-urban and rural communities. In the urban set-up urban slums and poor communities do not have access because services do not reach them. They rely on secondary and tertiary services where available and this results in increase in the cost of services to the poor. The poor without access to water supply services spends as much five times as the poor with access to services. Inefficiencies in the activities of service provider in the urban sector – GWCL – are passed on to consumers through increase tariffs. The lifeline tariff regime set up to support the poor and marginalized has not worked because of the structure of household/compound housing systems. The poor does not have avenue for redress and there is limited space for engagement and demand for improved services from service providers.

In the rural communities and small towns, the poor pay higher for services than in the urban areas because of high cost of operations of the small town scheme and lifeline tariff regime does not apply to Water Board tariff setting scheme. The threshold population to benefit from rural water facility is 75 and above. The implication is that communities and hamlets with population less than this number are automatically off the radar for accessing improved WASH services. Peri-urban areas rely on secondary and tertiary service providers including self-services, the quality which is difficult to guarantee.

Only 13% of the population has access to improved basic sanitation whilst 20% practice open defecation. The health impact of this situation cannot be overemphasized. It is estimated that inadequate sanitation services cost the nation GHc420 million per annum in terms health, economic and social costs54. Most public basic schools do not have access to improved sanitation facilities with the results girls are impacted mote negatively than boys. Landlords flout the laws of providing latrine facilities for the use of tenants in homes. WASH facilities are mostly designed without recourse to its impact on persons-with-disability and children below the age of nine.

The GoG policy and PURC pro-poor strategy seems to espouse the principle of ‘all for some, and not some for all’. This forms the basis of inequity and exclusion in access to WASH Services. Ghana has signed on to Water and Sanitation Services as human right and this legally binds the country to make these services available in right quantities and qualities to all people. The end result of all these is that the poor and the marginalized are excluded from accessing WASH Services.

An element which makes services unavailable to the poor and marginalized is the inefficiencies and corrupt practices and inadequate transparency and governance process in the service delivery. This deprived the sector from the needed resources for service delivery. Related to this is an issue of inadequate sector financing, overdependence on Development Partners and untimely release of resources to sector agencies as well as the absorptive capacity of sector agencies to facilitate services delivery in favour of support.

CONWAS has a huge role to play in advocating for change in current status of service provision; - enabling the poor, disadvantaged and person-with-disability - have access to WASH Services. CONIWAS will demonstrate through this strategic period how these categories of people could be served with innovative services. CONIWAS will like-minded organisations and platforms to create space for the poor and excluded to demand improved services from service providers.

Our Partners

Water Aid
Unicef
IRC
Government of Ghana
European Union
Canadian International Development Agency