WUZDA Ghana Programme Manager Leads Wokshop On ‘Localising Sdg Six’

CLIP is a subsidiary CSO of the Ghana Developing
Communities Association, GDCA, which is mandated by the mother organization to operate in the Water, sanitation and Hygiene, WASH sector in the northern part of Ghana.

The formation of CLIP became necessary after the mother organization, GDCA came to understand that considering the weight of the water and sanitation problems in the north, more collective and innovative approach is needed to help bring the required and appropriate solution.

On the 11th and 12th of July 2018, CLIP organized a workshop on how CSOs can give the Sustainable Development Goal Six a local understanding and approach, as well as what practical steps they can take to collectively help the government to achieve the goal.

The Sustainable Development Goal Six enjoins all UN members to have “Clean Water and Sanitation…Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.

The SDG Six has eight Targets with eleven indicators where the targets are considered to be what will help stakeholders reach the bigger goal, and the indicators will be used to measure how each target is attained over the specific time.

Leading the process in “Localizing the SDG Six”, Programme Manager of WUZDA Ghana, Mr. Abdul Karim Ziblim took CSOs through a process of owning and understanding exactly what each of the targets under the goal means and what could be done locally, using the resources and operating environments available to the organizations to achieve it.

Mr. Karim drew the attention of organizations to the broader goal six, why it is made global and why it would need to be brought down to the level of local communities with consideration to the problems and resources available to CSOs in operation to reach it.

Some of the CSOs in attendance included CIWED, AFORD Foundation, GYAM, Sabta Bonzali, APDO, WUZDA Ghana, Presby Water, BIDO, Klink Consult, among others.

The Participants were broken into groups, made to pick the targets and indicators and localize them in terms of a common understanding by all, as well as point ways by which they could be used to solve the existing water and sanitation problems in communities, to help reach the SDG Six.

According to Mr. Karim, it was important for all CSOs in the Water and Sanitation sector to commonly understand the Goal, targets and indicators to help collectively do the same things but with different innovations to reach the goal.

He said if the goal is not understood commonly, it becomes difficult for the organizations to identify what others are doing, which could result in duplication of efforts within the same sector.

Commenting on the efforts being made by governments for SDG Six to be reached, Mr. Karim said “we can’t rule out what governments have been doing from 2000 when the MDGs were declared for action, but it is clear that the governments will always have their interests since they are led into power by political parties”.

He added that it is CSOs that can check what the governments are doing to draw their attention to the flaws so to get them corrected, but charged that all this should be done considering the vulnerable people at the local level.

Some participants raised issues about the difficulty that may make reaching target 6.6 of the SDG impossible.

Target 6.6 enjoins stakeholders to “by 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes.

The hurdle the participants raised was with the fact that since Ghana goes to the polls in 2020, it would be difficult to get the attention of both duty bearers and community members as the electioneering campaign is very likely to consume all of it.

But speaking to this, Mr. Karim said CSOs can still champion for this to be achieved if the right approaches are made, to ensure communities get well empowered to hold the duty bearers accountable.

He indicated that to achieve this, CSO can organize a forum to form an interface between assemblies and community members, where presentation of the facts about what is supposed to be achieved on the target will be made, and timelines given to allow for tracking and follow up.

Another forum can be organized where CSOs and the communities will ask questions about what has been done before, during and after the elections to demand accountability of the promises made earlier by those in power.

The workshop ended with participants understanding the SDG targets and indicators, and how the progress of the Goal Six can be measured in real time to monitor efforts of stakeholders.

The CSOs also gave vivid actions forward on what they would be doing to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goal Six at the local level.

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