A five-day Hygiene and Sanitation Workshop organised for environmental health assistants and community natural leaders from 13 communities in the Aowin and Suaman districts, has ended in Enchi, in the Western Region.
The workshop, which was first of its kind in the region, was facilitated by GHANA WASH
PROJECT, a non-governmental organisation, and supported by USAID, WINROCK International, RELIEF international, and Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA).
The National Coordinator in charge of Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) for the GHANA WASH PROJECT, Mr. Dominic Kwame Dapaah, who doubles as a facilitator and resource person, said hygiene and sanitation were very important elements in one’s endeavours.
He said the project was aimed at improving access to safe and adequate water supply and basic sanitation infrastructure for households, clinics, and schools, and to promote complementary hygiene practices.
‘As natural leaders, you are to ensure that members in your communities respond spontaneously to triggering exercises, and to ensure that immediate actions are taken to stop open defecation.
‘You are also to collaborate with environmental health assistants from the district assemblies to ensure that individual households have latrines, and your communities get rid of practices of open defecation in all its forms.’
He said even faeces in latrines should be adequately protected, such that flies and other disease-carrying agents do not get access to it.
He added that they should, what is more, have proper refuse disposal sites, and practice waste water management in their communities.
Mr. Glory Agordzo, Regional Environmental Health Officer, who gave a talk on promoting community-led total sanitation, said it was an integrated approach to achieving and sustaining open defecation-free communities.
These entail the facilitation of communities to analysing their profile, practices of defecation, and the consequences, leading to collective actions to become open defecation-free.
These collective actions include all stakeholders in the community, nananom, assembly members, unit committee members, and all natural leaders.
He said, as natural leaders, they should innovate and build low cost latrines, using local materials.
Communities should have improvements in their latrine designs, adoption, improvement in hygiene practices and solid waste management, aimed at changing behaviour where people transform themselves from reliance to demand, develop and sustain hygienic and healthy environments, by erecting barriers that prevent transmission of diseases from faecal matter, he added.
Mr. Emmanuel Adjei, Assembly Member of the Sewum electoral area, who was one of the participants at the workshop, said the programme was an eye opener, educative, and had added value to his knowledge.
This would enable him to educate his people to ensure that every house in his electoral area gets a latrine and achieve an open defecation-free community.
Pix: Mr. Dominic Kwame Dapaah, National Coordinator in charge of CLTS, Ghana Wash Project