WASH stakeholders call for innovative approaches to address sanitation challenges

Awutu-Beraku (C/R), Stakeholders in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector have called for innovative approaches to address the ever-evolving sanitation and hygiene challenges.

They made the call at an Inter-District Learn and Sharing Event, hosted by Intervention Forum, a non-governmental organisation, under the Voice for Change Partnership (V4CP) programme, which is being implemented by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation.

The event created a platform for key district level actors of the Awutu Senya District Assembly (ASDA) and Awutu-Senya East Municipal Assembly (ASEMA) to learn and share valuable insights and experiences from each other.

Madam Nora Ollennu, Chief Executive Officer, Intervention Forum said putting the WASH context into perspective, one would realise that constantly learning and applying innovative approaches was the way to go, as part of efforts to improve sanitation.

She reiterated the need for the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to embrace best practices, which could be replicated in the process of addressing sanitation and hygiene issues at the district level.

Madam Theresa Swanzy-Baffour, SNV, V4CP WASH Advisor, also tasked the MMDAs to push for investment in the area of sanitation, as budget was an issue when it comes to the implementation of sanitation programmes.

She said this would ensure that there was enough funds for monitoring and implementation of such programmes, adding that, Intervention Forum, being one of the civil society organisations, we are working with has been able to train them on internally generated funds.

Mr John Gavi, the ASDA Environmental Health Officer, in his presentation on account of ASDA’s key achievements, challenges and approaches to sanitation and health, said major nuisances detected across the district were open defecation, indiscriminate refuse disposal, insanitary waste water disposal and selling food under insanitary condition.

He said in the first two quarters of 2019, the Environmental Health Unit of the Assembly took nine people to court on sanitation offences.

He said another challenge was that the Department does not have any vehicle, which “makes movement from one community to another very difficult especially on reported cases from the hinterlands.

He also called for health education and law enforcement to ensure household latrines were built, to stop open defecation in the urban areas.

Alhaji Mohammed Avonah, Municipal Coordinating Director at ASEMA, who made a presentation on behalf of the Municipal Health Officer, said there was a need to have in place a coordinated, monitoring and supervisory mechanism.

He explained that, this would help relevant stakeholders to have access to current environmental health and sanitation issues to be able to easily communicate among themselves.

Alhaji Avonah noted that, networking by means of the ‘WhatsApp Group Page’ therefore, became the option to attain such a mechanism, so they could have effective and efficient Environmental Health and Sanitation delivery systems that would enable them to serve the municipality.

He said the group platform enabled all the 79 stakeholders on board to have access to current sanitation developments in the Municipality at the same time, and promptly made their constructive contributions to ensure that the situations does not worsen.

He said, as part of its sustainability plan, all stakeholders should regularly make their constructive contributions and criticisms on the platform, so that duty-bearers could up their game.

Source: Ghana News Agency