Schoolchildren ‘raise hands’ for hygiene

BY: Daily Graphic
Children raised their hands for hygiene during GHD 2015.

Hundreds of pupils in the Osu Klottey cluster of schools last Thursday marked this year’s Global Hand Washing Day (GHD) with a palm printing activity at the Presbyterian Church Hall at Osu, Accra.

As part of the palm printing event, which is the first of a series of activities to be organised to raise awareness of the water, sanitation and hygiene situations in communities and schools, the children made presentations on hygiene in their communities.

The event was organised by WaterAid Ghana, a non-governmental organisation with focus on access to water, sanitation and hygiene to raise awareness of the lack of adequate hygiene facilities in most schools and to support the call for more funding in the provision of hygiene facilities in schools.

The theme for this year’s GHD was ‘raise a hand for hygiene’ and the commemoration follows the historic adoption of the new United Nations’ Global Goals on Sustainable Development for 2030.

The goals, which were agreed on by 191 countries including Ghana, contained a goal focused on access to water, sanitation and hygiene for all.

In support of the goal, WaterAid Ghana said it had chosen to raise awareness of the lack of hand-washing facilities in most public schools by calling on officials to “finish the job” and ensure an indicator on handwashing was included as a measure of progress in the attainment of the goal on water and sanitation for all, to help achieve the full health benefits.

Aim of palm printing

The Country Representative of WaterAid Ghana, Dr Afia Zakiya, said the aim of the palm printing campaign was to help raise awareness of the importance of good hygiene practices for healthy, prosperous lives.

“Every day across the world, 1,400 children under five die from diarrhoea caused by dirty water and poor sanitation and hygiene. We are now one step closer to ensuring such tragedy will be a thing of the past with the recent agreement of the Global Goals, which aims to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030.

“However, there is still work to be done to ensure the world delivers on the potential of these goals. WaterAid is calling for the vital role of handwashing to be included as an indicator for Goal 6, which works towards ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all,” she said.