The BRAVE Policy Roundtables and Synthesis Day were held in Accra, Ghana on the 14th May – 16th May and brought together government ministers, journalists, researchers and civil society to tackle one crucial and important question.
How can we unlock the potential of groundwater for the poor?
The policy roundtables provided an opportunity for dialogue and conversation on best practice for groundwater management and adoption and how to support decisions being made around the adaptation of groundwater. While the synthesis day was an opportunity to consolidate ideas, cement actions on the advocacy plan and agree on specific outcomes for each organisation represented.
The BRAVE policy roundtables and synthesis day were organised by the Walker Institute with support from British Geological Survey and Water Research Institute.
Professor Ros Cornforth opened the policy roundtable, emphasising that the BRAVE project is not a top-down project, instead, it seeks to ensure that local people are at the forefront of change and improvement, that communities are empowered to make informed decisions about how to use water resources and the next generation of researchers are educated and equipped.
Professor Ros Cornforth challenged the attendees to think about their work and scope of influence and what changes they hope to see in respect to groundwater in Ghana by 2030 and what do they think needs to be put in place to ensure that change happens. Asking participants to consider their role in unlocking the potential of groundwater for the poor ensured that a more focused and dynamic conversation was had about both the physical and financial capacity of organisations, the need to work collaboratively as opposed to in silos and importance of knowledge and information sharing and management.
Martin Dery from the Coalition of NGOs in the Water and Sanitation Sector (CONIWAS) stated that “advocacy is needed to bring the argument for groundwater to the table of decision makers” and moving forward there is to be an advocacy action plan put in place which will consolidate the ideas and key points which were discussed at the roundtables and can then be presented to decision makers in Ghana to encourage them to improve policy on groundwater use.