CHF International's WASH-UP Program Saving Lives in Urban Slums

CHF International's WASH-UP Program Saving Lives in Urban Slums

This article was originally posted on USAID's Urban Health blog.

wash up

Water supply and sanitation services remain inadequate in slum settlements, according to the Corporative Housing Foundation (CHF) International, an aid agency. The agency has therefore initiated a three-year program called the Water Access, Sanitation and Hygiene for Urban Poor (WASH -UP) Project. It began on October 1, 2009 and is expected to end on September 30, 2012. According to Francis Ampadu, Water and Sanitation Specialist of CHF International, the WASH-UP program will increase household access to improved and sustainable drinking water supply, as well as, sanitation facilities.

The program, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is being executed under the African Urban Poor-Improved Water Supply and Sanitation Project. It is targeted at 156,000 people within communities including Nima, Avenor and Ayidiki in Accra, and New Takoradi and Kojokrom in Sekondi Takoradi.

These came to light at a three-day workshop organized for the Avenor, Nima and Ayidiki in Accra from Monday to Wednesday. It was under the theme – Upgrading Lives of Slums Dwellers through Improvements in Water and Sanitation.

It is estimated that about 5.5million people in Ghana, representing more than half of the urban population live in slum settlement. The informal nature of these settlements hamper water supply to a large extent. The areas also have been identified to have limited access to toilets. As a result, households in these areas spend significant amounts of time and money to access unhygienic toilets facilities and obtain water at inflated prices.

WASH-UP is therefore aimed at assisting slum communities to improve on their current water and sanitation situation. It seeks to provide equitable access to improved water supply and basic sanitation for residents living in Nima, Avenor and Ayidiki New Takoradi and Kojokrom. WASH-UP is also geared at improving infrastructure and governance and changing behaviours.

Mr Ampadu indicated that the WASH-UP will promote innovative economic enterprises in the areas of water and sanitation; improve hygiene and sanitation behaviours among the urban poor; and strengthen local governance for water supply, sanitation and hygiene services.

The District Cleansing Officer of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Charles Sintim, told Public Agenda that the AMA was working assiduolosly to get rid of the use of pan latrines in every community by the end of the first quarter of this year.

According to him, the Assembly was ready to prosecute all individuals and households using pan latrines at the end of the quarter. He commended CHF for the project and pledged that the AMA would support the chosen communities with requisite technical know-how and tools to work with to help free the environment from filth.