Development Partners in UER asked to help tackle sanitation issues

Mrs Lucy Awuni, Upper East Deputy Regional Minister, on Tuesday appealed to development partners to institute environmental clubs in schools to instil in children environmental cleanliness and eliminate the canker of poor sanitation that bedeviled the country.

She suggested award schemes for schools that observed holistic environmental and sanitation rules.

Mrs Awuni made this appeal when she inaugurated a fifteen member Upper East Regional Inter Agency Coordinating Council on Sanitation (RICCS) in Bolgatanga to provide policy direction, plan, and review progress of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).

Mrs Awuni, who addressed the stakeholders on the theme: “Improved Sanitation – Key to Good Health and Development,” expressed worry at the effects of floods in the country and attributed it to littering and pouring rubbish into gutters, saying, “uncompleted building structures, open spaces, waste dumping sites have all become areas for open defecation”.

She also attributed the underlying course as attitudinal, non availability of places of convenience and failure of land lords to put in place toilet facilities in their houses.

She said this had adverse effects on the health and consequently the poverty levels of the people of the country.

She acknowledged the efforts of the regional Zoomlion and environmental health and sanitation units for the good works but said that alone could not be satisfactory as throwing of waste from moving vehicles and dumping of refuse into water channels and any available space with impunity was the order of the day.

Ms Emma Joan Halm, UNICEF representative at the inauguration, said the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on sanitation target could never be achieved without the involvement of key sectors and departments.

She said to date, the country had achieved 14 per cent of sanitation coverage out of the 54 per cent earmarked for 2015.

She was grateful that Ghana showed a strong political will with a proof of its commitment of more than $350 million annually for WASH services as a whole.

She said such measures included the adoption of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) as a national strategy and the development of Rural Sanitation Model.

She said in 2012, Upper East Region received GH¢50,000.00 as part of government support towards CLTS activities in the region and pledged UNICEF’s continuous support to Ghana in the establishment of the RICCS in the Upper East Region.

Members of the Council expressed their gratitude for the confidence reposed in them and pledged to work hard to contribute to the success of the MDGs on Sanitation.

Source: GNA

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