Skip to main content
Skip to main content

In commemoration of the 16 days of activism against Gender-Based Violence in Digu community, the CIWED-Ghana team, led by Executive Director Mr. Baako Abdul-Fatawu and Gender and Child Protection Manager Miss Bashiru Mardia, engaged with the VSLA women group of the community in an important conversation. This event, held on December 5th 2023, aimed to shed light on gender-sensitive issues and emphasize the significance of economic independence and self-reliance as potent tools in reducing or preventing Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

The session commenced with opening remarks by Mr. Iddris Amba, followed by an insightful speech from Mr. Baako Abdul-Fatawu stressing the crucial need to prevent GBV and all forms of violence against women. He highlighted the impact of previous economic empowerment projects within the community and across the district, emphasizing their role in countering and preventing violence against women. Acknowledging the ongoing pandemic, he urged adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols, underlining the importance of these precautions in preventing infections.

Mr. Abdul-Fatawu also encouraged the women to enhance their skills, empowering them to support their spouses in household responsibilities. He emphasized the importance of educating children regardless of gender, breaking stereotypes associated with household roles.

In her address, Miss Bashiru Mardia urged the community women to take their involvement in the VSLA project seriously. She emphasized the need for organization among the groups, enabling them to engage policymakers, hold them accountable, and demand the fulfillment of commitments.

Mr. Abdul-Fatawu concluded by advising unity and collaboration among the women. He emphasized the importance of peaceful coexistence to maximize their participation in VSLA and other economic empowerment projects.

The gathering witnessed the participation of over 35 community women, with other VSLA members expressing their support and gratitude for CIWED-Ghana’s initiatives. They pledged continued support for ongoing and future projects.

On Wednesday, October 25th 2023, CIWED-GH hold a radio discussion at Gbangu fm in Tamale which has coverage and mass listenership in Savelugu and Nanton districts to discuss possible ways of filling the gap of inadequate inclusion of youth on social accountability mechanisms that affect their access to SRMNCAH services. The radio discussion features the Project team of CIWED-Gh, two state actors (health personnel’s) and one non-state actors each from Savelugu municipal and Nanton district. The radio program lasted for an hour and had people from Savelugu, Nanton and other districts including Tamale metropolis calling in to add up to the discussions, commend CIWED-Gh for this initiative and also adding suggestions to enrich the project implementation, outcomes and impacts going forward. The program explained the purpose of the project, the goal, objectives and a detailed account of the net-maps developed in Savelugu and Nanton districts by both State and Non-state actors. The discussions were made clear and imaginative and pictorial form and could be perceived as to how the net-maps were developed and what the net-map actually represented.

Questions about accountability and the rising gaps and apathy of the youth towards health initiatives and projects were adequately discussed. This was to ensure the discussion was representative and was cross-cutting of all aspects and facets of the project. It is worth indicating that, the radio discussion was held mainly in Dagbanli which is the dominant language in the district and speak by all in the region. 

On Wednesday 18th October, 2023, CIWED-GH in our implementation of the PAI net-mapping project conducted activity #3 on the project. The aim of the activity was to convene two-district wide meeting to disseminate the findings of the net-maps developed by the participating stakeholders and entities. Invitations sent were specific requesting the presence of the same people who took part in the net mapping exercise. The attendance recorded match a 100% of the total participants invited in both Savelugu municipal and Nanton district.

The discussions commenced with an opening prayer, a brief welcome and introduction by our resource/MERL manager Mr. Aminu Danaa. He introduced the CIWED-GH team and called on the Executive Director Mr. Baako Abdul-Fatawu to give a welcome and opening remarks. Upon completion of this speech, he invited the Resource Mobilization Officer, Mr. Mohammed Nasir-Deen to present the findings of the net-map, indicating that, the general and most important business of the day. Participants were then asked to keep calm and note their concerns, additions and grievances during the course of the presentation.

The presentation was structured in a number of sections, including the introduction of the PAI project, with a brief overview, the objectives and goals of the project and the issues the project seeks to address with regards to healthcare services and delivery in our communities and the district levels espercialy adolescent SRMNCAH+N issues. Additionally, the presentation was centered on the findings of the net-mapping exercises in each district with the relevant stakeholders; state institutions and non-state institutions for both Savelugu and Nanton district. After the presentation, it bred a number of discussions, which are pinpointed below;

  1. Deliberations on the capturing of power and influence: the participants misrepresented power and influence and came to a conclusion that they shouldn’t be used interchangeably as they mean different things.
  2. Additionally, Participants commended the presentation revealing that this was representative to the best of their understanding on the net-maps they developed in August.
  3. Much time should be spent in this types of workshop, so that things that are not properly understood be well and clearly explain to the understanding of all participants.

Challenges encountered during implementation:

In every project implementation, there are bound to be some problems, challenges and roadblocks to the successful implementation of the project. In our case, the challenges faced are below:

  1. The travel distance of participants from Savelugu municipal and Nanton district affected the participants’ ability to report for the early start of the program.
  2. There were concerns raised about the use of “power” and “influence” interchangeably stating these were related but not same concepts. This led to the adoption of the word “influence” only in the context of the project.
  3. The day and time of the program favored some groups (non-state actors) over other (state actors). Majority stated they had to report to work before coming back for the program

Lessons learnt:

  1. Invitations for next engagements and similar meetings would be consultative, to ensure an appropriate and favorable time for all stakeholders.
  2. Clear and concise language to be used in the rest of the project delivery to avoid ambiguity and unclear communication.
  3. The time for the meeting will be fixed ahead of the stipulated start time to cater for participants travel time.  


The session was concluded with a presentation done by each district on the topic “ways to improve youths’ interest in healthcare delivery and accountability at the district level”. This was to test their understanding of the net-mapping and the interplay of the various stakeholders in delivering healthcare at the district level. Most of the findings revealed the involvement of the youth in decision making, use of radio and TV drama to stimulate, education, use of media, rekindling the youth community forums would ignite and rekindle the youths’ interest in healthcare delivery and accountability at the district level. the Executive director of CIWED-GH Mr. Baako Abdul-Fatawu, concluded the session and thanked all the participants for their commitment since the inception meeting to this part of the project, urging them to support us when we call on them.

In the serene village of Kpatiya in Northern Ghana, the struggle for clean water was a daily ordeal. Community members, young and old, would embark on long, dusty journeys to fetch water from distant, often contaminated sources. This relentless struggle, however, would soon be off pass thanks to the efforts of a remarkable organization – CIWED Ghana.

CIWED, short for Community Initiative for Water and Environmental Development, arrived in Kpatiya community with a vision to transform the lives of its inhabitants. Our mission was clear: to bring clean, accessible water to the village. Little did we know that our journey would not only bring water but also empower the community in many ways they never imagined.

In partnership with Japan Embassy in Ghana, CIWED embarked on the ambitious project of promoting sound learning environment, that is to construct a six (6) unit class room block with axillary facilities at/in kpatiya community in central Gonja district in the savana region of Ghana leading to the construction and installation of boreholes in community. The idea was promising, but success depended on more than just drilling holes in the ground. Recognizing the importance of community involvement, CIWED introduced the concept of a Water/Borehole Management Committee (WBMC).

The WBMC consisted of eleven members, carefully selected to represent different segments of the community. They were farmers, teachers, elders, and women, each with a unique perspective on the community water needs. CIWED’s commitment to sustainable development was evident in the next step – capacity building.

Through a series of workshops and training sessions, CIWED empowered the WBMC members with the knowledge and skills necessary to play their roles effectively. They learned about borehole maintenance, water quality testing, financial management, and the importance of community engagement. The members eagerly embraced their roles, seeing the potential for positive change.

As the boreholes begin construction, pumping clean water will lead to a transformative shift to occurred in Kpatiya. They will no longer have to walk for miles under the scorching sun; clean water will now be available just a stone’s throw away. Children will have more time for school, and adults for income-generating activities. Waterborne diseases will decrease, and health improved. This will be a profound change.

The WBMC’s dedication became the linchpin of this transformation. They will ensure that the boreholes remain in optimal condition. Routine maintenance, timely repairs, and water quality checks became their forte. In emergencies, they will act swiftly, making the boreholes resilient to challenges.

The impact rippled through the community. Women who had once spent hours fetching water will now have time to engage in entrepreneurial ventures. Farmers will increase crop yields as they now have a reliable water source for irrigation. The children of Kpatiya began to dream bigger, knowing that education is within their reach.

With time, the WBMC will develop an innovative ways to sustain the boreholes. They promised to initiate community fundraising drives, collected nominal fees for water usage, and also to establish a community garden. These efforts not only ensure the boreholes’ longevity but also foster a sense of ownership and responsibility within the community.

Gender equality, leadership, and governance are interconnected issues that have significant implications for society, and they encompass various challenges and concerns. CIWED Ghana on the 16th of September, 2023 hold a radio program to discussed some of these key challenges affecting women and girls in the Nanton District. Isssues discussed such as gender disparities in leadership roles, gender-based discrimination, political representation, economic empowerment, social norms and stereotypes among other.

The CIWED GH team indicated that, addressing these issues requires concerted efforts from governments, organizations, civil society, and individuals. Strategies to promote gender equality, leadership, and governance may include policy reforms, legal protections, educational initiatives, awareness campaigns, and efforts to challenge traditional gender norms and stereotypes. Achieving gender equality is not only a matter of social justice but also critical for sustainable development and the well-being of societies as a whole.

As an NGO committed to promoting quality health for all, CIWED-Ghana team, as part of the implementation of the PAI project conducted a net-mapping exercise with some key players and influential actors who have influence on and access to issues and matters concerning health at the community and district levels. The exercise was conducted on two separate days for Savelugu and Nantong and at different times for select community and district level stakeholders.


The exercise was conducted firstly in Nantong at the district assembly on Tuesday, 22nd August, 2023 for the community leaders (opinion leaders, assembly members), state actors (health workers, district assembly workers, social welfare unit and other relevant actors at the district level) and the youth. Different net-maps were formed at the end of the day, each representing the power-play and the relationship between the various district level actors in health with regards to three (3) key issues, thus information, advice and money. The net map was a tool develop by the UN to conduct stakeholder engagement to get the necessary inputs and contributions from the relevant actors for advocacy or policy formulation purposes. The session at Nantong started with an opening prayer and discussions commenced ranging from the participants identifying the relevant actors in the health sector who can influence health outcomes in the district, the next was to identify how the actors are linked to each other in terms of information, advice and money and the third was to identify or rank them based on their power and influence in health issues at the district level. For the first engagement (community opinion leaders), eight (8) actors were identified (18) actors were identified in the second engagement (state actors). This shows the difference in perspectives of the groups engaged in the session. The most commonly identified stakeholders were; the GHS, NGOs, Traditional authorities, religious leaders and the District assembly. The net maps formed in Nanton didn’t see the mention of the media as a key player with regards to health information access and dissemination in the community and this in the analysis of CIWED was due to the unavailability of a radio/media station in the Nantong district. The power play was also with some community actors such as the chiefs and religious leaders who were considered very important and powerful actors in health information access and dissemination, however health advice only came from the GHS and the NGOs operating in health. Money as well was seen coming from the NGOs to all other actors and from the GHS to health volunteers at the district level. 

SAVELUGU The net-mapping exercise for Savelugu was conducted on Thursday, 24th August, 2023 at the forecourt of the Fire Service department, Savelugu. Again, the various stakeholders in attendance were; the community leaders, state actors and some select community youth. The discussions were facilitated by Mr. Danaa and he started all sessions by briefly

In an effort to achieve the inclusion of inadequate youth representation on social accountability mechanisms that affect their access to SRMNCAH services is one objective under the activity of Global Goods Grants funded by the PAI. CIWED-GH organized an inception meeting on the 26th July 2023 at the resource center for disability inviting all project stakeholders including community level leaders (opinion and traditional leaders), state actor (health workers and district assembly officials) and some select youth to engage them, introduce the project to them, get their buy in on the new project in the district. CIWED-GH intended to know the best/most suitable implementation methods and strategies to be used to achieve the desired project results and also to know what to expect from the community members during the implementation to ensure the project is carried out successfully. At the end of the day, the various stakeholders contributed immensely and gave relevant demonstrations on how some actors have been overlooked in other projects who are spoilers and are influential enough to frustrate a project at the community and district level, this has shaped our implementation plan and strategies rolled out in the project implementation.

As part of project activities, CIWED organized quarterly review meetings for Ge-net group leaders. The Gender Network Groups (Ge-net) is a group of identified community leaders from various sectors of the community who lead advocacy on gender equality and gender transformation. The review meeting was to identify and discuss in details some gender and human right issues bordering their communities. The meeting was also to create a platform for action in tackling the identified human right issues.

The Ge-Net leaders in Zoggu reported that one key gender issue was youth out-migration from the community. They further reported that the issue is serious because it is predominant among young girls of school going age. A teacher among the leadership reported that, after the directive by the government for all schools to resume (after COVID-19 close down), about 50% of the females in his school did not return. He further explained that some got married off and some migrated to Accra and Kumasi to do petty jobs (popularly called Kayaaye). Similar issues were reported from Ge-net leadership from Nantong communities. It was found that child marriage and youth out-migration were the common issues in most communities.

As follow up actions, the leadership of the Ge-Net committed to discussing the issue with the entire community stakeholders for collective action. On her part, the Gender Coordinator for CIWED, Madam Basiru Mardiya pledged commitment to the course of the Ge-Net and promised for capacity support to the networks.


CIWED with funding support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) seeks to increase the effective participation of women in decision-making roles and leadership positions and to empower them to have access and control of resources in two districts in the northern region. As part of the “women voice and Leadership” project, CIWED convened a town hall meeting on ending gender inequalities in the project districts. The theme for the town hall meeting was “Leave no Female Behind”.

Addressing the participants, the Executive Director of CIWED, Mr. Baako Abdul Fatawu reaffirmed that CIWED seeks to have visibly empowered women, girls, men and boys groups leading the campaign for gender transformation in the communities. He assured that CIWED will continue to work towards empowering women and youth at the community level to advocate for their rights.  He added that the project will build community structures to lead the campaign and sustain the gains. He concluded that women and their groups in the communities will be supported more to make specific demands for their rights including access to resources, representation and participation in decision-making.

The town hall meeting was attended by various district and community stakeholders including the district coordinating director, the department of social welfare and community development, the Ghana Education Service, the Ghana Health Service, community chiefs and elders, the honorable assemblymen and women, students, youth groups and women groups.

The two days town hall meeting increased the confidence of community women and girls towards seeking community leadership positions. It also created platform for increased commitment from traditional leaders to support women with lands to farm.

As follow-up action to a reflection meeting held among Gender Network Groups (Ge-Net), CIWED supported the leadership of the Ge-Net to widen their discussion to the entire communities. Reports gathered from community volunteers revealed that the traditional leaders were full of praise for CIWED and OSIWA for facilitating a community led appraisal action.

The chief of Kparigilanyili in the Nantong District could not hide his satisfaction during a monitoring visit to his community and palace.  CIWED can report that the reflection meetings created a community led appraisal platform for community members to find local solutions to their local problems. Parents increased their understanding on gender and human right issues. The Assemblywoman for Gbumgbum electoral area; the only female elected Assemblywoman in Nantong District was so happy for the CIWED/OSIWA intervention. She pledged to partner with CIWED to have more female elected Assemblywomen in the coming District Assembly elections