The Rotary Club of Accra Labone on Saturday inaugurated an eight-unit toilet facility with an adjoining urinal worth an estimated $50,000 to the Bepoase Basic School in the Ayensuano District of the Eastern Region.
A hand washing facility was also installed on the premises of the school to encourage the pupils to wash their hands after using the toilet.
This forms part of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Health (WASH) project jointly collaborated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Rotary International and Global Communities, a not-for-profit organization engaged in social services and humanitarian activities.
Under the project, boreholes and toilet facilities are being constructed across the country to improve sanitation and health practices in deprived communities.
Members of the Rotary Club of Accra Labone and members of the community in a group photo
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President of Rotary Club of Accra Labone
Speaking at the inauguration, President of Rotary Club of Accra Labone, George Agyekum said the toilet facility was built for the school because children are most vulnerable to water borne and hygiene related diseases.
He explained that lack of toilet facilities pose serious health risks that lead to infectious diseases like diarrhoea and cholera which can lead to death if not quickly treated.
Already global development priorities; water, sanitation and hygiene feature prominently on the list of the United Nations and other non-governmental organizations whose efforts are geared towards alleviating diseases caused by poor sanitation and unsafe water.
Mr Agyekum expressed optimism that with the provision of the toilet and hand washing facilities the incidence and exposure to such diseases will be reduced.
A pupil washes her hands following the demonstration of the immediate past president, Mr Lamptig Apamga
Mr Isaac Otutu Awuah, a retired teacher and representative of the Odekro of Bepoase commended the organisations that made the construction of the facility possible.
He said as a retired teacher, he was happy to see the facility constructed in the town and on behalf of the community expressed gratitude to members of the Rotary Club of Accra Labone for their support.
Mr Awuah said a decent toilet facility is something worth appreciating and urged the teachers and pupils to properly manage the facility to ensure its sustainability.
The hand-washing system donation
Years of political neglect
Assembly woman for the Bepoase electoral area, Esther Teiko said the construction of the facility will be of immense benefit to the community and school children due to previous incidents encountered in the bushes where the children usual go to defecate.
"So, with the one that you have constructed which is so hygienic, we know the incidence of cholera and diarrhoea will reduce and will enhance the image of the school and community," she said.
She noted that female students will not have to miss school when they are menstruating as a separate unit was constructed purposely to cater for such needs.
Some of the pupils of the school at the inauguration ceremony
While expressing appreciation for the construction of the facility, she said poor roads and lack of social infrastructure are among the many challenges faced by the community and lamented its neglect by past and present governments.
She said important facilities like a science and computer lab are non-existent in the school which affects the performance of the pupils in national examinations.
She therefore appealed to well-meaning Ghanaians and organizations to come to the aid of the school.
Rotary Club of Accra Labone President, George Agyekum, the chief's representative, Mr Isaac Otutu and the assembly woman for the area ready to cut the tape to inaugurate the facility
Lamptig Apamga, the immediate past president of Rotary Club of Accra Labone educated the school children and guests on the importance of hand-washing.
He demonstrated to the students how to wash their hands with soap under running water and highlighted the serious health consequences of non-observance.
He added that hand-washing helps to remove germs and prevents infection from bacteria causing illnesses.
A cash donation was made by the club to enable the school purchase disinfectants and soaps.