General News of Saturday, 23 December 2017
‘Shit’ has been a major cause of cholera in the Ghanaian society as individuals prefer to defecate in the open rather than acquire a household toilet facility.
The Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), is cautioning the public to desist from open defecation and get involved in the GAMA Project which is aimed at building a complete toilet facility at a subsidized price.
The GAMA Project is targeted at improving sanitation, water supply and to strengthen the management of environmental sanitation with emphasis on low income urban areas.
The six month old project is being executed by the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, which is funded by the World Bank.
Speaking at the 3-day workshop and sensitization programme which ended on Friday, 22nd December, 2017, Behavioural Communication Specialist, GAMA Project, Mr Quaranchie Adama Tetteh, refutes claims that the project is in limbo.
He disclosed that over 2,000 toilets facilities have been built and expressed hope that more toilets will be built as the project is ongoing.
‘’The project is working so much, we started from zero toilets, now we have over 2,000 toilets. We started from zero school toilets, we have now built over 260 school toilets, it’s about 90 per cent complete,’’ he said.
Beneficiaries would no longer have to pay the initial GHC2,000 as successful negotiations with the bank allows people to pay GHC1,100 under the GAMA Project, Mr Quaranchie Tetteh added.
He said, ‘’The negotiations went on with the bank through the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources and the bank has decided to support beneficiaries even further, so you realize previously the toilet was GHC2,000 but it has now come down to GHC1,100 and even the GHC1,100 you don’t have to pay all, when you make a commitment, pay GHC200, GHC300, this large scale contractors will come in and build for you, then you pay the rest over a period of time.’’
He also hinted that fortunately the project has been extended to 2020 and by that time all the projects deliverables would have been achieved.
He announced that some contractors have been brought to facilitate the construction of over 11,000 toilet facilities within a time frame of three months.
‘’By June 2018, if we are not able to exhaust some parts of GAMA project’s funds it will go back to the World Bank. So we have brought large scale contractors who are expected to build over 11,000 toilets within a space of three months and this contractors have been positioned in all the eleven assemblies,’’ he stated.
GAMA is however encouraging the public to stop open defecation because it is detrimental to citizens’ health and wellbeing as a nation, instead, every Ghanaian should get a household toilet facility which will go a long way to help prevent the spread of cholera and other communicable diseases.
The three day workshop programme was organized by the GAMA Sanitation and Water Project a subsidiary of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources in collaboration with the Global Achievers Consultancy, to train and equip WASH journalist to support, sensitize and communicate sanitation issues to the general public.