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Rotary International/USAID hold workshop on Policy advocacy

By
Hafsa Obeng, GNA
    

Accra, July 21, GNA –
Rotary International, in collaboration with United States Agency for
International Development (USAID), has organised a policy advocacy training
workshop for members as part of its water and sanitation project.

The workshop is aimed
at strengthening the advocacy capabilities of Rotarians to champion the
improvement in WASH services in some schools, clinics and communities.

Mr Sam Okudjeto, Past
International Rotarian Co-ordinator, said Ghana had estimated that by 2025 there
would be adequate, safe, affordable and reliable water supply and sanitation
for all across the country, thus the introduction of the Water Sanitation and
Hygiene (WASH) programme.

He said safe
sanitation and hygiene had gradually become a fundamental human right of all
people, as human survival depends greatly on water.  

He said although water
supply had gradually improved in Ghana, it was estimated that 60 per cent of
rural water pumps had broken down, and 64 per cent of households rely on well
as their major source of water.

Mr Okudjeto said the
district assemblies and local authorities were faced with a lot of problems and
the introduction of the WASH programme as well as the skills acquired would
help ensure the water and sanitation projects were sustained.

“Rotarians are
expected to step down the training to the project sub committees at the local
levels and be advocate to the project by organising community durbars, media
interactions, lobbing and build networks to help sustain the project.”

Dr Naana
Agyemang-Mensah, Member, Host Organising Committee, said the workshop was also
to improve the knowledge and skills of Rotarians to use community score cards
to identify and address barriers to promote improvement in WASH services.

It is also aimed at
increasing the knowledge and skills of Rotarians to conduct policy dialogue,
plan lobbing events, sensitise them on the role of the media in advocacy
improvement and to use community durbars to mobilise and educate communities.

She said there was the
need for high commitment for Rotarians to be able to make an impact on
communities through the project by informing and influencing decision makers at
the national and sub-national levels based on evidence to make them want to cause
policy changes and implementations.

Dr Agyemang-Mensah
noted that access to toilet facilities across the country was 15 per cent, and
the workshop would empower Rotarians to go back to the communities to empower
them to demand these projects from policy makers.

Mr Ako Odotei,
Chairman, Rotary Host Committee said water resource and sanitation formed part
of Rotary’s core focus and the Rotary International and USAID water and
sanitation project was expected to improve community water supply services and
sanitation for schools and clinics in some communities.

He said the $ 4
million project which was expected to be completed in 2020, was being embarked
on in six regions across the country, 13 beneficiary districts and 165
communities.

The project is going
to provide 94 water systems and 122 institutional latrines.

GNA

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