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WHO assures on water quality, future collaborations
Accra 16 May 2018—World Health Organisation (WHO) is satisfied with the unity of purpose exhibited by the various UN agencies involved in the WASH DPC project.
Ghana Country Director Owen Laws Kaluwa says: the success rate of the project was reasonably high considering that this was the first time we were working together as different UN agencies but delivering in unison.”
He said the organisation deployed many experts in the field during the project ensuring that the end result was meeting international standards. “We leveraged on our huge global resource base of professionals and we brought some of them to Ghana for this specific project,” he said at an interview in Accra.
However, the Country Director says WHO experienced some challenges especially at the beginning of the project. “Needs assessment proved quite a challenge and the fact that the different agencies have different delivery procedures also posed a small hurdle especially in regard to synchronising the project,” he said.
The other challenged Dr. Kaluwa and his team faced was the sheer vastness of the project execution area which made supervision an arduous task. “Since we do not have an office in Tamale, we had some challenge in that we could not do day to day supervision of the project,” he said.
However, the global reach of WHO came in handy as the country team could mobilise human resources from other parts of the world to come into Ghana to lend a hand. “All in all I am happy that the project has made a big difference in people’s lives. We have sunk disaster resilience boreholes with good quality water which I am confident will reduce incidences of water borne diseases,” he said.
Dr. Kaluwa sees more similar partnerships between UN agencies in the future especially when looked at against the milieu of ‘Delivering as One’ which the UN is pushing for. “I see this being the norm, moving forward. If we develop sustainable partnership programmes we are likely to achieve more. This is even more obvious considering that UN agencies have unmatched pools of experts in almost every field.
WHO national programme officer agrees with Dr. Kaluwa and lists some of the difficulties experienced during the project execution as including the distances covered. “The project stretched on a very big area and this posed a big challenge to us,” he said.
He is upbeat that the project was very successful. “This was a unique project which saw us working with our sister agencies for the very first time,” he said.
On her part WHO Environmental Health Officer, Akosua Kwakye, the highlight of the project was the behavioural health change activities that she was involved in. “It was satisfying to see the school children embrace the hand washing concept,” which greatly improved their own health,” she said.
According to Ms. Kwakye the project also ran a ‘healthy schools’ competition’ which saw the institutions doing well feted.