Stakeholders urge closer collaboration to deal with sanitation, hygiene at Kasoa

By Ray
Ankomah, GNA
    

Kasoa (C/), Sep 15, GNA – Stakeholders within
the Awutu Senya East Municipality in the Central Region have agreed to
coordinate their activities to tackle sanitation and hygiene problems bevelling
the community.

This followed a municipal level stakeholders’
forum organized by intervention Forum (IF), a non-governmental organization,
under its Voice for Change Partnership (V4CP) project.

The aim of the project is to strengthen the
capacity of local Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to generate reliable and
relevant data/evidence to carry out evidence-based advocacy for sustainable
improvements in key focus areas, namely Renewable Energy, Water, Sanitation
&Hygiene (WASH), and Food Security and Nutrition.

At the forum at Kasoa, the stakeholders, led
by the Environmental Health Service Unit (EHSU) of ASEMA, reviewed their
collaborative efforts so far made to effectively deal with sanitation and
hygiene issues within the municipality.

They also resolved to strengthen their level
of cooperation and coordination so far chalked in dealing with the boggling
sanitation and hygiene issues in the various communities within the
municipality.

The meeting brought together officials from
the EHSU, Planning Department, Information Services Department, Ghana Education
Service, and National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Zonal and Unit
Committee members and civil society organizations.

Giving a brief introduction, Madam Nora
Ollennu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the IF, drew the attention of the
participants to emerging issues emanating from previous meetings with them.

These ranged from the level of
intra-coordination between the EHSU and the other departments on sanitation and
health issues, key financial support, creation of a Municipal Environmental
Sanitation Fund, and the prospects for a sustained and increased budgetary fund
dedicated to sanitation and hygiene over the medium-term period.

Other issues bordered on the progress made by
the ASEMA to carry out improvised night-time revenue mobilization and food
hygiene regulation, the targeting of private sector entities such as financial
institutions, churches to fulfil their social corporate responsibilities in the
provision of sanitation and hygiene service.

The stakeholders also brainstormed on the
sensitization of the citizenry to bye-laws and the national policy paradigm
shift from the construction ones and plans to encourage the construction of
biogas for the poor project.

Crucial to the sanitation and hygiene crusade,
the stakeholders agreed, was periodic evidence generation and regulated
monitoring and evaluation of S&H and updating of existing data to inform
planning for station and hygiene delivery as well as the periodic capacity strengthening
of zonal sanitation officers.

They again assessed progress on the signing of
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by private waste management firms to allow
for effective regulation by ASEMA, commending the assembly for having begun
data collection on household toilet ownership in Kasoa Zongo and its environs
in May, this year.

Madam Nora Ollennu, CEO, IF, observed in her
opening address that  the sanitation and
hygiene sub-sector was stifled by notable gaps such as service delivery
planning, implementation and monitoring a well as by limited inter and
intra-collaboration among WASH and non-WASH sector actors, financing and weak
enforcement, among others.

These limitations, she said, hinged on factors
and inadequacies that mounted up from the sub-national level to the national
level and required tailored bottom-up approaches and vice-versa to ameliorate
them.

She said, in view of these, the meeting which
formed part of the scheduled 2018 V4C partnership activities, was earmarked as
a workbench for municipal-level actors.

This will enable them to effectively
deliberate, map out and actionize strategies towards addressing some of these
existing and emerging sanitation and hygiene issues.

This activity, Madam Ollennu noted, fell under
the V4CP programme, a five-year advocacy programme being implemented in Ghana
by SNV in partnership with the International Food and Policy Research Institute
and funded by the Dutch Directorate-General for International Cooperation.

“Primarily, the Ghana Sanitation and Hygiene
for All (SH4ALL) component of the programme aims at amplifying the voice of
CSOs and citizens to demand more equitable, inclusive and sustainable
sanitation and hygiene services at the sub-national level,” she stated.

She therefore called on all participants to
link up effectively and open up on the issues to collectively project and
prescribe remedies to relevant operational sanitation and hygiene challenge and
issues.

He CEO again urged the EHSO and its collaborating
partners to set up specific timelines to carry out specific activities leading
to the attainment of programme objectives agreed since the beginning of this
year.

GNA

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