Empowering Communities with Sustainability - northern Ghana
Developing Community Sustainability Skills
At GWAM, we are more than charity. We are building community sustainability by equipping and empowering local people with the resources and knowledge to be able to provide a living for their families in the future - all to the glory of God.
Ghana West Africa Missions (GWAM), in coordination with the church of Christ Rural Water Development Program (RWDP), working as a water well (borehole), sanitation, hygiene, and development organization, we are seeing that communities in the focus area of northern Ghana are well equipped with the knowledge of how to maintain and operate the systems that are put in place.
This empowers communities to have a vested ownership in project implementation and goals – teaching the value of ownership and pride of system goals.
Training School for Water Well Caretakers
Over the years, while partnering with UNICEF, World Vision and other organizations, local community members have participated in a training school certification program for pump mechanics and caretakers. This program helps to ensure that hand pump and mechanized systems are managed at the local level – providing entrepreneurial skills and trade opportunities in the future participant and their families.
In the next five years, GWAM in coordination with the RWDP, are proposing to train over 840 local village community members to be caretakers of water well systems. This will ensure that the water system is cared for at the local level – creating empowerment for the future. This also gives the potential for those who become certified the opportunity to help maintain other village systems that are having maintenance issues – creating potential income and opportunity for their families.
Community Water and Sanitation Committees
Community Water and Sanitation Committees (WATSAN Committees), made up of both men and women, are also setup to manage the water well development process at the local level. This is a valuable tool to incorporate local community participation by building partnerships to create involvement in the well construction process and ongoing maintenance.
The project element also provides ownership of the project at the local level. These committees participate in the planning, implementation and ongoing maintenance of the well in the future.
This program element provides locals the understanding of vision related to the sustainability of a project, which creates empowerment to help plan future projects that move the village toward sustainability – building opportunity for men and women.
Problem Solving at the Local Level Changes Everything
At GWAM, by practicing innovation, we value the idea of creating opportunity by empowering local communities with the knowledge to solve problems on their own in difficult situations. In many cases, people have the ability to solve problems - all they need is a little help to get started.
By training local village community members and providing ownership, problems are solved at the local level and that changes everything for the good – building hope, empowering lives and demonstrating the love of Christ through sustainability.