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NGO launches programme to improve sanitation and hygiene

Kasoa (C/R), June 17,
GNA – The Voice for Change (V4C) programme has been launched at Kasoa in the
Awutu-Senya East Municipality of the Central Region with a call on the
citizenry to ensure improved sanitation and hygiene in their communities.

The V4C is an
evidence-based advocacy programme being implemented by SNV (Netherlands
Development Organization) in partnership with the International Food and Policy
Research Institute and funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Intervention Forum, a
non-governmental organisation, is one of four local implementing partners under
the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) component of the project in the Awutu
Senya East Municipality.

The five-year project
(2016-2020) is being implemented by SNV together with its local partners made
up of civil society organisations (CSOs) in Ghana and other developing
countries.

It aims to strengthen
the capacities of local CSOs to generate reliable and relevant evidence to
carry out evidence-based advocacy for sustainable improvements in key focus
areas of the WASH, renewable energy, food security and nutrition.

Madam Nora Ollennu,
the Chief Executive Officer of Intervention Forum, said lack of improved and
sustainable sanitation and hygiene was one of the most pressing global issues
that needed most attention.

She said the WASH
component of the project dubbed: ‘Ghana Sanitation and Hygiene for All
(SH4ALL)” aims at intensifying the voice of CSOs and the citizenry to demand
equitable, affordable and sustainable sanitation and hygiene services and
improved policy implementation at the district level.

The project targets
stakeholders including the Awutu Senya East Municipal Assembly, traditional
authorities, waste management companies, microfinance institutions and banks,
community-based organisations and the media to help  realise the project objectives.

Madam Ollennu said the
Intervention Forum has, over the past decade, worked to improve the
circumstances of deprived communities by assisting them through capacity
building to identify and solve their own problems and enhance their quality of
life.

Citing a 2015
WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme report, Madam Ollennu said 2.3 billion
people globally did not have access to adequate sanitation, meaning that one in
three persons did not have access to improved sanitation.

In Ghana, she said, as
of 2013 less than a quarter of the population was found to be using improved
sanitation facilities.

This, she said, had
translated into multiple negative effects on individual and communal
livelihoods, health, academics, productivity and national income.

“Clearly, sanitation
and hygiene issues need to be high on the country’s agenda and requires
prioritisation by the Central Government, metropolitan, municipal and district
assemblies, CSOs, traditional heads, the private sector and all other relevant
stakeholders,’’ she said.

This, she said, would
ensure that the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of ensuring availability and
sustainable management of water and sanitation for all was achieved.

Mr Michael Mensah, the
Municipal Chief Executive of the Awutu Senya East Municipal Assembly, who
launched the project, said Kasoa, the municipal capital and one of the fastest
developing areas in Ghana, had a herculean task of dealing with environmental
sanitation.

He referred to the
deplorable sanitation situation in Kasoa which had been compounded by a rapidly
expanding market, tonnes of refuse generated daily, poor drainage systems,
littering of plastics and inadequate places of convenience.

He said the Municipal
Assembly’s sanitation bye-laws had been gazetted by the Government and would,
therefore, be implemented to the letter and warned residents to abide by them.

The event, which was
chaired by Nai Kojo Larbi, Bemuhene of Ofaakor, attracted a wide range of
stakeholders including officials of the Assembly, zonal and unit committee
members, landlords associations, market women, farmers, traditional authorities
and religious bodies.

GNA

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