Constant Tchona (arrowed), Country Director of Plan International, inaugurating the facility
Constant Tchona (arrowed), Country Director of Plan International, inaugurating the facility
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Water, girl-friendly infrastructure inaugurated for Koensim

Plan International Ghana, a non-governmental organisation, has inaugurated a water and girl-friendly infrastructure for the chiefs and people of Koensim in the Jasikan Municipality of the Oti Region. 

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The water and girls-friendly infrastructure comprises a mechanised borehole system and a washroom facility including water closets for the Koensim Municipal Assembly Basic School, to support proper menstrual health management for the staff and students, especially girls. 

It is part of a four-year Integrated Package for Sustainable Development (I-PADEV) project being undertaken in the Jasikan and West Mamprusi municipalities of the Oti and North East regions.

The inauguration at Koensim last Tuesday was a symbolic ceremony at which nine of similar completed projects were handed over to the nine communities in the Jasikan Municipality at a total value of GH¢2 million.

In all, the projects will provide about 18, 668 people with potable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities, both at school and in the communities. 

Facilities

In his inaugural address, the Country Director of Plan International, Constant Tchona, said the facilities, which were for the whole community, targeted girls since they were the ones who suffered most in the absence of those facilities. 

He said girls needed water in a convenient place to clean themselves, especially during their menstrual periods. Mr Tchona said the lack of such facilities could lead the girls to drop out of school due to the stigma and its accompanying shyness they might experience among colleagues. 

The water facility

He called on the communities to take good care of the facilities to ensure that their girls remained in school.

The Chief of the Koensim, Togbe Paul Adufoli, commended Plan International and gave the assurance that they would take good care of the facility. 

Menstrual Hygiene Day

Later at a forum to commemorate World Menstrual Hygiene Day at the Bueman Senior High School (BUSEC) in Jasikan, Mr Tchona, stated that menstruation periods that should have been exciting for the girls had become inconvenient for many. 

He said that was because the challenges surrounding good menstrual health and hygiene made them go through nightmares, stress, sickness and exclusion from activities during the period, adding that that was why the menstrual health and hygiene day had been set aside to address the various issues for all girls and women.

He said most basic and senior high schools in the country lacked menstrual friendly facilities, which forced girls to drop out.

That, he said, was why Plan International and its partners had worked throughout the years to remove the taboos surrounding menstruation by raising awareness, mobilising funds, partnering various institutions and organisations to promote period-friendly sanitation and sanitary products for girls. 

Mr Tchona said Plan International had also distributed 3,000 reusable pads to girls in the Jasikan Municipality. He said although they appreciated the government’s efforts to reduce taxes on sanitary pads, more had to be done to reach the period friendly world as this year’s theme called for.

The Headmaster of BUSEC, Frank Boamah, expressed his gratitude for the facilities and also for the various items they distributed to the girls.

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