Global Handwashing Day: WaterAid calls for WASH facilities access
Collective action is required by all stakeholders to increase access to water, sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities, especially in hard to reach communities, the Acting Policy Advocacy, Campaigns and Research Manager, WaterAid Ghana, Fauzia Aliu, has said.
She indicated that in order to achieve increased access to WASH facilities, there was the need for collaborative efforts both at the community, district, regional as well as national levels for the benefit of all.
Ms Aliu stressed that WaterAid Ghana, a WASH focused non-governmental organisation, was committed to ensuring that everyone everywhere had access to WASH facilities to improve their lives.
That, she said, would go a long way to help in achieving Goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at ensuring access to water and sanitation for all by the year 2030.
“We all have a role to play to ensure that people, irrespective of their geographical location, are provided with the needed WASH facilities to use, so as to live dignified lives in their respective communities” she said.
She was speaking at an event to commemorate this year’s Global Handwashing Day in Kayoro in the Kassena Nankana West District in the Upper East Region last Monday.
The event was organised as part of the implementation of the Sexual Health and Reproductive Education (SHARE) project with funding from Global Affairs, Canada.
Ms Aliu said WaterAid had moved from just providing WASH infrastructure, to engaging stakeholders, especially at the district level to improve policies towards providing efficient service delivery at facilities provided in schools and communities.
“I wish to assure all stakeholders that we will continue to focus on improving access to WASH facilities so that people in under-served communities will not be excluded,” she stated.
Further, she underscored the importance of handwashing in preventing diseases and urged the people to make it a habit for their own benefit, stressing “effective handwashing ensures healthy living of both children and adults.”
The Kassena Nankana West District Director of Health Services, Alhassan Lawal, said WaterAid Ghana’s efforts had led to transformative impact in health facilities and communities which needed to be commended to encourage them to do more to improve the lives of the people.
He said handwashing was a simple activity and yet a powerful tool that had the potential to prevent numerous diseases and save lives, stressing that “clean hands are testament to one’s commitment to personal and public health.”
The Paramount Chief of the Kayoro Traditional Area, Pe Oscar Batabi Tiyiamu II, lamented the lack of a toilet facility at the health centre in the town which had compelled health workers and patients to attend to the call of nature in the open.
He appealed to WaterAid Ghana to provide proper toilets for health facilities in the area to enhance their operations, saying “it is unacceptable for users of such facilities to defecate in the open due to absence of places of convenience.”