Sunday, April 07, 2013

Australian Gov’t Supports WaterAid with $2 Million

Child drinking water from a tap
Source: WaterAid

The Australian Government has provided about US$2 million to WaterAid Ghana to improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene services in the Eastern and Greater Accra Regions.

The funding was provided through the Australia Africa Community Engagement Scheme (AACES).

Under the program, WaterAid Ghana has worked in partnership with local NGOs and communities to drill and rehabilitate six boreholes and two water kiosks. These now provide safe potable water to more than 6,000 marginalised people.

Sanitation and hygiene in schools is also being targeted with the construction of two new latrines and the establishment of seven school hygiene clubs that are helping to improve access to safe sanitation for over 1,350 school children as well as improve sanitation and hygiene practices.

A significant component of the program has been the strong involvement and ownership by the community, which is helping to ensure the sustainability of the program’s outcomes.

“The program has already made a real difference to the lives of women and girls who now have more time for school and work as they do not have to walk as far to collect water. Women also now spend less time caring for family members who would otherwise fall sick due to unsafe drinking water” said Dr. Afia S. Zakiya, the Country Representative for WaterAid Ghana, through a statement.

Australian support to NGOs in Africa has recently increased, and focusses on delivering more opportunities to the most vulnerable and poor - especially women, children, people with a disability and people vulnerable to disaster.

NGOs funded under the AACES program are also encouraged to network and collaborate with each other to achieve greater impact through shared learning and synergies.

On his part, the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, Joanna Adamson said “Australia strongly believes that a partnership approach to supporting community-based interventions across Africa will achieve a greater impact, making a real difference to people’s lives, especially the poor and marginalised. With strong community ownership we are ensuring that these benefits will endure beyond the life of the program.”

About AACES

AACES is a partnership of AusAID, ten Australian Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and their Africa-based partners. It contributes to the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) strategy for Africa through community-based interventions across the sectors of food security, maternal and child health and water, sanitation and hygiene. The program focuses on marginalised communities, with particular attention to women, children, people with a disability and people vulnerable to disaster.

It’s the largest Australian funded NGO program in Africa supports and development in 11 African countries including Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The newly released AACES Annual Report provides an overview of the program's contribution to food security, maternal and child health and water, sanitation and hygiene across Africa.

About WaterAid Ghana

WaterAid is an International Not for Profit Organisation with over 31 years experience in 27 countries across Africa and Asia. Our vision is of a world where all people have access to safe water and adequate sanitation.  WaterAid Ghana’s country program has been providing the poorest and most marginalised communities with clean, safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene services for 28 years with equity, inclusion and sustainability of services as core tenants.

About AusAID

AusAID is the Australian Government agency responsible for managing Australia's overseas aid program. The fundamental purpose of Australian aid is to help people overcome poverty. AusAID is strongly committed to evaluating and improving Australia's aid program and to collecting, analysing and publishing development data and other information. For more information please visit: www.ausaid.gov.au

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