Water and sanitation in rural communities: The role of women in the Brong Ahafo Region, Ghana.

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TitleWater and sanitation in rural communities: The role of women in the Brong Ahafo Region, Ghana.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsOhemeng JA, Mabel AT, Aziiz I
JournalInternational journal of innovative research and development
Year of Publication2017
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsGhana, Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), Rural communities, WASH, Water and sanitation, Women

The Government of Ghana with the support of Agence Francaise de Dévelopement (AFD) implemented the Peri Urban, Rural and Small-Town Water Supply and Sanitation Project (RSTWSSP) in the Brong Ahafo Region. The objective was to increase the rate of access to water and sanitation facilities through the provision of boreholes and encouraging Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) to rural communities, thereby improving the health status of the target population. This paper examines the Information, Education and Communication (IE&C) services provided tothe communities, that led to the provision of water facilities. Five districts out of the twenty-two districts in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana, were sampled, namely, Asutifi, Sunyani West, Tano North and Tano South Districts and Sunyani Municipal. In all, a total of ninety-eight (98) communities were examined; Asutifi district having thirty-two (32) communities, Sunyani West seventeen (17), Tano North eighteen (18), Tano South fourteen (14), and Sunyani Municipal fifteen (15) communities. This paper outlines the outcome of activities carried out between November 2011 to March 2012 in all communities as outlined in the project. 1.Reconstitution of WATSAN Committees. 2. Educating WATSANs on their clear roles and responsibilities and encouraging them to perform. 3.Gender perspectives of WATSANs to reconstituted in all the communities. 4. Increased women in executive positions in WATSANs.5. Representation of ethnic groups in sections of community were agreed. (if any) 6. Fund mobilization strategies were designed on community specific. 7.Caretakers and Vendors were and trained and the WATSAN handbooks were handed over to them to be used as their tool. 8.The WATSAN committees were tasked to work in the area of assisting communities to institute sustainable strategies in funding the maintenance and repairs of their water facility. 9. Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) were promoted in all beneficiary communities to eradicate open defecation and promote construction of household latrines, using the CLTS training modules. 10.The WATSAN committees were tasked to assist with their communities’ in dealing effectively with water and sanitation issues. The project provided opportunities as a deliberate policy to include women/children in all the stages of the IE&C program because they were recognized as the sole insurers of family hygiene and sanitation practices. If they suffer from various diseases or bear germs, it was likely to be transmitted to the food they cook, the clothes they touch and also to the family affecting the future generation.

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