Seventy-two cocoa growing communities in the Ashanti and Eastern regions are to benefit from improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services by 2018.
The Ghana WASH project aims to reach over 50,000 people with health and hygiene promotion activities; 33,600 people with sanitation infrastructure; 45,600 people with water supply infrastructure; and 1,300 people with capacity building in project management skills.
Twelve districts including three in the Ashanti Region and nine in Eastern Region will benefit from the Ghana WASH project.
The project, funded by Nestlé and implemented in partnership with International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC), has been designed to contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on water and sanitation.
The project is to ensure the provision of sustainable WASH services to support target population and contribute to the reduction of WASH related diseases by 2018.
At the launch of the Ghana WASH project in Kumasi, a representative of IFRC, Abel Augustinio, commended Ghana for striving to meet the 2015 Millennium Development Goal target for water.
“Ghana did well on MDG target on water but the country was unable to attain the sanitation target because not much has been done in that area. The time has come for stakeholders to demand from the government to take Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene issues serious,” he stated.
He said IFRC “recognizes the importance of fostering a more favorable environment for rural communities with a special focus on helping communities, increase productivity, protect the environment and gain sustainable development through improved WASH services”.
Mr Augustinio hinted of expanding the project to other communities to augment government’s effort at providing sustainable WASH services for the population.
A representative from Nestlé Ghana, Aaron Fenu, said the partnership is in accordance with Nestlé’s Creating Shared Value module of improving the livelihood of cocoa farmers.
He noted that the WASH project has already proven to be successful Cote D’Ivoire, hence the extension to Ghana.
Dr Kwasi Yeboah-Awudzi, the Ashanti Regional Deputy Health Director in-charge of Public Health, lauded the project, saying it will lead to reduction in sanitation-related diseases such as malaria and cholera.
“The sanitation situation in the country is not the best looking at the unprecedented number of cholera cases we recorded in 2014, which was over 28,000. My hope is that this project will help in reducing water-borne and sanitation related diseases,” he said.
The project will be implemented by the Ghana Red Cross Society through a community-based approach, in cooperation with the Ghana Health Service, Ghana Education Service, Local Government Service, and the Rural Water and Sanitation agencies.
By Ibrahim Abubakar|3news.com|Ghana