SNV commissions improved WASH facility for Samoa Health Centre

By Philip Tengzu

Samoa (UW/R), Feb. 8, GNA – The Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) has commissioned an improved Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) facility for the Samoa Health Centre in the Lambussie District to improve access to WASH services there.

The facility has a limited solar-powered mechanised water system with a 10,000 liters capacity and a four-seater water closet toilet, equipped with bathrooms and handwashing basins.

The intervention was part of the implementation of the SNV’s Healthy Future for All (HF4A) project in the Lambussie District and Nandom Municipality with funding from the Helmsley Charitable Trust.

Scores of community members, traditional leaders, representatives of the Nandom Municipal and Lambussie District Assemblies and Health Directorates, and some Regional Heads of Departments and Agencies including the Regional Environmental Health and Sanitation Department, attended the commissioning at Samoa in the Upper West Region.

Addressing the gathering, Madam Barbara White Nkoala, the Country Director of SNV in Ghana, said the project was aimed at improving the living standards of community members through improved access to WASH services among other interventions.

It was also aimed at building their capacities to ensure the sustainability of those interventions to achieve the expected impact.

The HF4A project had significantly increased accessibility to potable water for over 22,000 people since its inception in 2022, with a target to reach 38,000 people in the Nandom and Lambussie Districts by the end of 2024.

Madam Nkoala said they had so far completed and handed over four solar-powered water systems to four communities including two health facilities and completed eight solar-powered water systems and eight sanitation facilities for two schools and six health care facilities.

The SNV also distributed 200 handwashing facilities to schools in both districts and held capacity-building workshops for the beneficiary communities and institutions to ensure the sustainability of the facilities.

Forty-two Community Water and Sanitation Management Teams (WSMTs) have been formed and trained for efficient operation and management of the water systems.

Seven sanitation facilities would soon be handed over at Sentu, Tapuma, Brutu Nandom Health Centre, Nabugang, and Puffien communities in the two beneficiary districts.

Madam Nkoala said the SNV, among other things, also launched a $100,000.00 revolving WASH fund under the project and had so far disbursed GH¢1,029,220.00 ($86,000) with a remarkable repayment rate of 92 per cent as of December.

Kuoro Alhaji Abdulai Shakiru Tigwii, the Chief of Samoa, expressed gratitude to SNV and its partners for blessing the communities with those facilities to significantly impact their lives.

He said access to water and clean sanitation at the health facility used to be a challenge and the intervention would be very impactful to the health staff, the community members, people visiting the facility, and general healthcare delivery.

Mr Jerdu B. Nuhu, the Lambussie District Health Director, said the Samoa Health Centre had been earmarked to be a model health centre in the district and called for more infrastructure and equipment to achieve that target, while commending the SNV for the support.

Mr George Gerard Naluri, the Lambussie District Chief Executive, said: “Water and sanitation needs are very paramount to the health and well-being of our people in our communities, hence, there is the need for adequate investment in the sector for improved sanitation and sustainable health care delivery for all.”