To achieve its objectives, the Ghana WASH Project partners with nine local non-governmental organizations (LNGOs) throughout its five regions. These LNGOs are essential for the on-the-ground implementation and support of project activities. The organizations that the Ghana WASH Project works with possess years of experience in the areas of water and sanitation, hygiene education, and rural community development. The Ghana WASH Project provides funding to these local organizations, who use their expertise and demonstrated experience to support the project’s goals., Project staff provide support to the LNGOs and monitor their activities to ensure that the progress of community improvements stay on track.
Working on the Ground to Implement BCC Activities
The main component of LNGOs work is in hygiene education and promotion LNGOs support communities to constitute water and sanitation committees in rural communities (water and sanitation boards in peri-urban communities), which are the groups in each community that provide leadership to ensure the longevity of project facilities. As these groups will manage the facilities, the LNGOs provide trainings in sustainability and maintenance of facilities and regularly follow up and monitor their activities.
The LNGOs also organize and train groups known as Community-based Health Promoters (CBHPs) to carry out hygiene education session assignments in communities. The dissemination of messages by thses volunteers serves as a support to the work being done by the LNGOs. The CBHPs are supported by the LNGOs to carry out activities.
Within schools, the LNGOs also work directly to support training of the School Health Education Program (SHEP) clubs., These clubs have the responsibilities of ensuring that the egenral school environment is clean and conducive for learning. They also encourage their mates to as a matter of habit, wash their hands properly with soap after using any sanitation facility and before eating any food. The LNGOs provide support for the functioning of the school health clubs.
To make the activities of the clubs fun, the LNGOs organize school health quizzes and competitions and food vendor trainings and monitoring.
Supporting Sanitation and Hybrid Community-Led Total Sanitation Efforts
The LNGOs are also integral to the project’s hybrid community-led total sanitation (CLTS) efforts and assist communities in achieving open defecation-free (ODF) status. They regularly meet with community opinion leaders and conduct community profiles using participatory tools such as community mapping, focus group discussions, informal interviews in order to properly plan and implement activities.
LNGOs assist project communities in the development of community action plans, and explain the opportunity for project support in household latrine construction, including describing the various models available and households’ and communities’ associated responsibilities. The LGNOs also track the list of interested households who will benefit from latrines, and assist in the locational siting of latrines in the community in coordination with the Ghana District Government, and the distribution of construction materials. Once construction has started in a community, the LNGO serve as the eyes and ears for the project, monitoring construction progress, and also working with communities to provide latrine user education sessions for beneficiary households.
Building Local Capacity through LNGOs
These LNGOs are not only an integral part of the Ghana WASH Project. To ensure sustainability of these overall community development efforts, the project works to build the capacity of these organization’s local staff to ensure that these organizations are stronger and more effective as a result of their engagement.
The Ghana WASH Project tracks the LNGOs progress in communities, and provides training and support in the areas of budgeting, financial and administrative management. Each quarter, the LNGOs provides a detailed work plan of its scheduled activities, and at the close of each month, they submit detailed monthly reports, enabling the Ghana WASH Project to track progress.
Read about our work with one LNGO to improve water, sanitation and hygiene in Ghana’s Volta Region:
“Achieving Development Through Local NGO Partnerships”