It was a solemn sight to behold at the Tarkwa old Assembly hall where the last Watershed Ghana – Town Hall meeting took place when the local implementing partner of the Watershed Project, Hope For Future Generation (HFFG) announced the end of the five year project.
Most participants at the meeting especially those who did not benefited from the Watershed project but have heard about it through the improvement of WASH in the benefited communities and the media were so down hearted when the Project Coordinator, HFFG, Madam. Mercy Amokwandoh made the announcement.
Even though the beneficially communities were grateful to the Watershed project partnership, they were of the view the project should be extended to cover more communities which have now heard about the project and how impactful it has had on the 15 communities.
According to some residents from the 15 beneficially communities, the Watershed Project has become an eye open and promised to maintain the spirit and letter of project as well as to protect, and maintain WASH facilities provided them.
“At first we didn’t see the need to attend or participate in community meetings organised by the various district assemblies, faith-based organisations or Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) but from the education gained during the Watershed Project, we now see the importance of attending and participating assembly and community engagements,” Mr. John Manu a resident added.
A 70 year old man, Opanin Abekah Coleman from a village called Israel in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality in the Western Region an interview on the sidelines of the Watershed Ghana – Town Hall meeting suggested that government should replace National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) with NGOs such as HFFG and its partner organisations for the yeoman’s job they have done in the municipality.
According to him the NCCE have lost its relevance hence the need to scrap it from the books of the state.
“What has the NCCE been doing for all these years? Community engagement and mobilisation, civic education etc. are the work of the NCCE but they (NCCE) have failed to carry out this simple task.
Just imagine if the likes of HFFG and other NGOs are been supported by the state, most of our communities which have been lacking basic social amenities simply because they do not they have a voice.
But today, thanks to the Watershed Project through which we have been educated about our rights and responsibilities. Today we know we have a voice which use properly will change the fortunes of our communities,” the 70 year old man explained.
The Watershed was a strategic partnership between the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and IRC, Simavi, Wetlands International and Akvo. The Watershed programme aims to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs by building capacity of civil society in WASH/IWRM integration, human rights, and sustainable service delivery.
From the testimonies shared by the various beneficially communities at the last Town Hall meeting, the Watershed Ghana partnership has delivered many improvements in the governance and management of water resources and WASH services through evidence-based advocacy and strengthened capacity of local civil society organizations.
The Watershed programme in the past five years had contributed massively towards WASH and WRM in Ghana and campaign for resources and increased citizens’ involvement in WASH and Water Resources Management beyond the project.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
Writer’s email: email@example.com