WaterAid Ghana, a Sanitation and hygiene focused organization has launched a project dubbed, “clean community campaign” aimed at complementing government’s efforts towards the fights against the spread of the novel coronavirus disease pandemic.The five-month project with funding from the Global Affairs Canada, Uniliver and the Department of International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom would benefit six districts in five regions across the country.
The districts include; Bongo and Kassena-Nankana West in the Upper East, Wa Municipal in the Upper West, Nanumba South in Northern, Kwahu Afram Plains North in the Eastern and Ablekuma Central Municipal in the Greater Accra Region.
The project, which would have 30 communities from each district benefitting, seeks to best sanitation practices and hygiene behaviour change in communities and household settings with specific focus on hand washing with soap under running water at critical times, use of clean toilet, food hygiene, Safe water use and proper management of medical waste among others.
Speaking at the launch of the project in the Balungu community in the Bongo District, Ms Antoinette Shor-Anyawoe, the Country Director, WaterAid Ghana stated that the project aimed at improving upon COVID-19 and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) related practices and policies among stakeholders.
She said the project would be implemented in two phases with the first phase focusing on large scale hygiene promotion campaigns using mass, digital and social media and provision of water and hygiene facilities.
“Phase two will focus on strengthening existing government-led response and long-term sustainability of hygiene promotion efforts and this will ramp-up ongoing hygiene behaviour change campaign where the mass media and social media will be playing a key role in delivering the project,” she added.
The Country Director noted that hygiene was at central to public health and the project was intended to build lasting behavioural change among households and communities especially among women and children.
She said her outfit and its partners through the collaboration with other stakeholders including; the health directorate, District Assemblies and community members had chalked some successes such as having some communities declared open defecation free.
Mr Felix Gbevillah, Project Lead, WaterAid Ghana, who noted that the project would be implemented by the frontline health workers said the project has presented about 2,500 boxes containing 6,500 50militre alcohol based hand sanitizers to the beneficiary communities to help in the fight against COVID-19.
Mr Eric Chimsi, the Resident Representative of the Global Affairs Canada, explained that the government of Canada was committed to helping Ghana especially in the areas of WASH which affect women and children most especially.
Mr Stephen Bordotsiah, the Bongo District Director of Ghana Health Services lauded the support of WaterAid Ghana and its sponsors for their support over the years in improving health care delivery in the district.
He noted that through the support of WaterAid Ghana and other organization the district had contributed to the region recording averagely 80 percent of skilled delivery each year.
The Director noted that when the district recorded its first COVID-19 case, WaterAid Ghana played critical role in responding appropriately to the fight through sensitization and donation of hygiene and Personal Protective Equipment to health facilities in the district.
He expressed the hope that Clean Community Campaign would be embrace by the community to yield maximum benefits.