East Gonja Assembly, partners hold sanitation fair
A sanitation fair has been held in three communities in the East Gonja Municipal Assembly (EGMA) of the Savannah Region to create awareness amongst residents on improved sanitation practices and the need to build household toilets to stop open defecation.
The fair, which was held at Salaga, Kpembi and Naamu, brought together actors in the sanitation sector, who exhibited various types of latrines and KVIPs, which could be constructed at prices ranging from GHC1,200 to GHC 1,800, for residents to make their preferred choices for construction in their houses.
It was organised by the EGMA in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Hope for Future Generation (HFFG) as part of efforts to increase access to sanitation in the area.
The development partners have instituted a fund at Baobab Microfinance, a local financial institution in the area, to be disbursed to residents as loans with low-interest rates to build their preferred household toilets.
Mr Mohammed Tamimu, East Gonja Municipal Chief Executive, whose speech was read on his behalf during one of the fairs held at the Salaga Market on Friday, said increasing access to sanitation was a priority of the government to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, hence the creation of the Ministry for Water Resources and Sanitation.
In 2016, access to sanitation in the EGMA was two per cent hence UNICEF and HFFG’s decision to move to the area to implement measures to improve the situation because poor sanitation practices affected the wellbeing of the people.
Due to the activities of UNICEF and HFFG, 3,500 households out of a total of 18,811 households in the EGMA now have access to household latrines whilst 110 communities out of a total of 293 communities in the area have also been declared open defecation free or do not defecate in the open again.
Mr John Bibirim, East Gonja Municipal Resource Person for HFFG, representing UNICEF, said local artisans have also been trained to construct various types of household latrines and KVIPs at low prices for residents to help stop open defecation in the area.
Mr Bibirim advised residents to embrace efforts to improve sanitation practices in the area by accessing the funds at the microfinance institution to construct their household toilets to help increase access to sanitation in the area.
Religious leaders and some residents, who were present during the fair, lauded the initiative to improve sanitation practices in the area saying they would encourage all residents to construct household toilets for their own dignity as well as prevent sanitation-related diseases in the area.