Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ghana experiencing ‘sanitation insanity’ — Mrs Boamah



By Edmund Smith-Asante, ACCRA
Mrs. Sheila Naah Boamah

Ghana's current sanitation situation can be described as a situation of sanitation insanity which must be tackled collectively with a sense of urgency, the Chief Executive and Board Secretary of the Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF), Mrs Sheila Naah Boamah, has stated.

She noted that in recent times, the issue of sanitation had also become a threat to life and property and asked for a move from the blame game to finding solutions to the problem.

The country is currently ranked seventh at the bottom of the sanitation ladder, according to a recently published Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) report of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Mrs Boamah was speaking last Saturday at the graduation ceremony of the Ancilla Primary and Junior High School at Haatso in Accra, on the theme: “Sanitation and cleanliness, the road to good health”. “I chose to describe the situation as sanitation insanity and this must be tackled collectively with a sense of urgency,” she added.

She said while the sanitation situation might be a reflection of many things gone wrong, what was necessary now was for all members of the public to move away from the blame game and be part of the solution to the problem.

Mrs Boamah, who was the guest speaker at the graduation, based her comments on a publication by the Daily Graphic on the country’s sanitation performance that was carried in the Wednesday, July 22, 2015 issue.

“Ghana has slipped further on its sanitation performance globally to become the 7th worst performing country. The country slipped from being 10th in 2014, according to a Joint Monitoring Programme report, the publication said.

Environmental Angels
Mrs Boamah recommended the setting up of environmental teams to be known as Environmental Angels in the various classes, as the school’s contribution to fighting the sanitation menace.

Among other duties of the teams, she said the pupils who would be members of the group should be empowered to help the school authorities to enforce high sanitation standards such as undertaking periodic general clean-ups at the school and its environs.

They can also clean up common areas such as cooking/eating areas, staff common rooms, and toilets/urinals while classes should be made responsible for places in the school that are named after them, she further recommended.

“Our Sanitation Angels must always ensure that their mate do not litter, write on walls or make common use areas such as toilets and urinals dirty after use and they must keep an eye on mates to ensure proper hand washing with soap after playing, after using the toilet/urinary and before eating,” Mrs Boamah added.

She charged pupils who complete the school to participate in clean-ups organised in their communities such as the National Sanitation Day exercises.

Writer’s email: edmund.asante@graphic.com.gh

This was first published by the Daily Graphic on August 11, 2015

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