Thursday, May 02, 2013

CWSA Upper West Holds CLTS Training Workshop

CLTS trigerring stage
By Emmanuel Ato Quansah, Extension Services Specialist

The Upper West Division of Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA - UWR) has held a Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) training workshop for its staff and partners.

The six day CLTS training program was aimed at building the capacity of relevant stakeholders through the transfer of knowledge and skills for effective implementation of CLTS to stop Open Defecation (OD) in the region since that is the goal of the CLTS concept in all spheres. The workshop was under the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Project (SRWSP).

In his welcoming address the Upper West Regional Director of CWSA, Mr. Worlanyo Siabi, stated that though the region has about 76.36% of water coverage the sanitation statistics was less than 10% which implies that about 9 out of every 10 people living within the region do not have improved sanitation hence the sanitation situation can only be improved when behavior and attitude of people are changed.

“The Region is second on the open defecation ranking in Ghana. This has devastating implications on the health of our people because children under 5 years suffer the most from the ramification of open defecation as they are often affected by diarrheal diseases”.

The Regional Director stressed that the act of OD was not only continuously been practiced in the region but throughout the whole country. Consequently “I make a clarion call to all participants that all hands must be on deck to break this cycle in that the key to making gains on the sanitation situation in Ghana is partly on how effective CLTS is implemented”.

Bases for CLTS

The implementation and rollout of this concept in Ghana and globally is because the approach aims at promoting community self-analysis of sanitation profile and draws the attention of community members that open defecation has disgusting consequences and creates an unhealthy and unpleasant environment hence the need for them to change and save their communities and lives.

Extension Services

On his part, Mr. Ato Quansah, Extension Services Specialist of CWSA – UWR reiterated the need for participants to enhance their capacity through the CLTS training program to enable them to effectively implement the hygiene and sanitation component of the SRWSP.

SRWSP Initiative

Giving an overview on the sanitation and hygiene component of the SRWSP, the Extension Services Specialist emphasized the need for water and sanitation stakeholders and District Assembly staff to remain focus on their responsibilities.

“The project seeks to transform the lives of about 65,000 people in the region as estimated, and that all must live above reproach to drastically improve upon the sanitation situation in the region through the SRWSP through the use of the CLTS approach since it is an accepted antidote to the sanitation challenges confronting the region and the country at large”.

Facilitators at Workshop

Mr. Vincent Tay and Freda Naatu from TREND and personnel from the Environmental Health Directorate of the Ministry of Local Government Rural Development (MLGRD) Upper West Region, respectively, took turns to facilitate the CLTS training program.

Thus, in his introduction to the CLTS concept to participants, Mr. Tay highlighted on the ‘Do’s and Don’ts of facilitators during the CLTS triggering exercise. “The primary objective of CLTS is not to build latrines but to stop open defecation and faeco-oral transmission hence facilitators must trigger communities with circumspection and in accordance with the guidelines governing the approach for desirable outcomes.

He introduced the participants to the defecation area mapping, transact walk, calculation of shit, fecal - oral transmission routes, calculation of medical expenses stressing that any of the tools has the potential of triggering a community to stop open deception.

In attendance were field officers of Maalu Foundation for Rural Development (MARFORD), Ecological Sanitation (ECOSAN) Ghana, Langman Centre for Rural Development (LACERD), Comman Development Organisation (COMMAN) and Water Vision Technology Limited. Others were Environmental Health Officers and District Assembly staff from the Wa Municipal, Wa East, Wa West, Nadowli, Lambusie –Karni and Sissala East Districts.

The rest were Hygiene and Sanitation Consultants from Pragmatic Outcomes and Pronet North.  Participants used their CLTS knowledge acquired from the training program to trigger communities such as Sombo (Small Town), Nyambele and Takyirpia in the Nadowli district, Asse and Naaha in the Wa West District and Jatoyiri in the Wa East District during the training period.

Mr. Worlanyo Siabi, thanked participants for their cooperation and urged them to implement the knowledge gained to ensure ODF in their communities.

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