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14.05.2004 Regional News

NGO organises workshop on water

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Tamale, May 14, GNA- The Northern Regional Director of the Water and Sanitation Network (WASNET), an NGO, Mr Thomas Sayibu has said that it is not the responsibility of NGOs to run government. Mr Sayibu who was speaking at a two-day advocacy workshop on water for stakeholders in the water sector said NGOs rather complement government's efforts to bring development to the most deprived.

The Community Life Improvement Programme (CLIP), a Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) sponsored the NGO operating in some parts of the Northern Region, and organised the forum in Tamale for members of district water management teams. Mr Sayibu said: "Under the Millennium Development Goals, water is to be made accessible to all by 2015, but unfortunately, the commitment of government is not enough to achieve the set objectives". The Regional Director of WASNET called on regional coordinating councils and district assemblies to define their development targets to enable them to measure their success or failure.

The Programme Manager of CLIP, Mr Adam Illiasu announced that his organisation has begun the construction of 40 hand-dug wells in the Yendi and Gushiegu-Karaga districts adding that 13 of the wells have already been completed and fitted with pumps while 15 others are under construction. He said to ensure the sustainability of the wells and their judicious use, water and sanitation committees (WATSANS) had been formed and trained in water management and maintenance of water sources, water-related health issues, hygiene and sanitation to enable them to educate their community members.

The CLIP Programme Manager noted that advocacy alone could not achieve much and said social mobilisation and effective communication were also essential to achieving objectives. He said the existing policies, current attitudes towards the poor and some practices by development practitioners and bureaucrats, as well as the relatively weak voice of the poor in determining priorities, had contributed to lack of water and sanitation services in most communities.

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