CONIWAS Trains Members On Social Inclusion For Marginalized Groups

The marginalized groups of people in society are often left behind in initiatives introduced by governments, the private sector, individuals and in some cases, even civil society.

The marginalized in society include women, especially in this case, physically impaired, visually and hearing impaired.

Some of the difficulties these groups of persons may face with facilities, initiatives and polices that may not favour them include access, ability to use and the ability to understand in detail in the case of information.

The largest and oldest Water and Sanitation network in Ghana, CONIWAS, is leading a campaign through its members to help draw the public’s attention on the need to demand for the vulnerable, for the right things to be put in place to aid them feel at ease using and accessing them.

The coalition also aims to, as it has always done, use the civil society influence it has over the years in government, to point to programmes and policy initiatives and adjustments to help for the vulnerable to enjoy inclusion.

CONIWAS has members all over the ten regions of Ghana that are engaged in operations in water and sanitation and related activities.

The Accra training on “Social Inclusion for marginalized Groups” saw all members of the network converge to discuss how far activities have come, where they are, where they are going, and especially how to get there.

<img src=”×268.png&#8221; alt=”Programme Manager of IRC Presenting the Real Situation on Social Inclusion” width=”480″ height=”268″ class=”size-medium wp-image-4485″> Programme Manager of IRC, Veronica Presenting the Real Situation on Social Inclusion

Presenting the real situation on the ground on social inclusion, Programme Manager of IRC Ghana, Veronica Nii ayi Bonte painted a gloomy picture for efforts being made to give credence to the vulnerable in society, especially in GBont.

Veronica bemoaned the attitude and efforts of the lack of planning on the part of stakeholders especially authorities in the water and sanitation secies, to be the bane of the problems the vulnerable have to go through using or accessing public facilities and information.

She made an illustration on the difference between equity and equality, and made a strong case for stakeholders to go beyond just providing access to ensuring no one is left behind.

According to the planning expert, ensuring the existence of equity is not enough, but various other things including monitoring, are key to achieving the strides towards social inclusion.

She also gave highlights of what has been done so far on social inclusion with a project the IRC is implementing known as “Watershed”.

<img src=”×268.png&#8221; alt=”Screenshot_2018-09-17-14-00-47-1″ width=”480″ height=”268″ class=”alignnone size-medium wp-image-4484″> Chairman of CONIWAS Executive Committee, Mr. Martin Dery

Chairman of CONIWAS’ executive committee, Mr. Martin Dery who spoke on behalf of the coalition said CONIWAS is making efforts to engage government on some of the activities it has planned, to ensure there is social inclusion in its operations, and largely, in the activities of governments.

He said the coalition has long been ‘fighting’ and pushing for things to be done in a certain way of best practice, to include the vulnerable in planning and implementation of policies and projects.

He however revealed that the reason why it has faced many challenges with this drive is the partisan polarization in the system, but intimated that CONIWAS is not resting on its horses to ensure governments adhere to the right principles of inclusion for the vulnerable, when it comes to social projects and policies.

Executive Director of the Afram Plains Development Organization (APDO), Mr. A. Y Modoc made a presentation of a case study on social inclusion based on some activities the organization has carried out in the area.

Coordinator for CONIWAS in the northern sector, Mr. Abdul Karim Ziblim painted a brief picture of the entire activities and the challenges being encountered by members in the northern part of Ghana.

<img src=”×279.png&#8221; alt=”General View of the hall  from behindwith members paying attention to the Training” width=”480″ height=”279″ class=”size-medium wp-image-4488″> General View of the hall  from behind with members paying attention to the Training

During a group work to further whip the interest of member organizations in social inclusion, related specifically to water and sanitation, SDG Six was put in perspective.

Sustainable Development Goal Six enjoins stakeholders to work at ensuring the availability of sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, by 2030.

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