Netherlands, UNICEF, Ho Assembly collaborate for good sanitation

The Netherlands government in collaboration with United Nations Children’s Fund and the Ho Municipal Assembly has organized a Sanitation Fair at Ho.

Exhibition stands were mounted by school children to teach the general public how to recycle waste. Business concerns also displayed wash products and advocacy materials.

It had the theme ‘Good Sanitation for Health Life’ and came at the heels of government plans to develop a national strategy for Urban Household Sanitation.

The goal is to expose and sensitize the Municipality to issues of sanitation and solicit their participation in ensuring that the highest standards of sanitation are always maintained.

The three bodies — Netherlands government, United Nations Children’s Fund and How Municipal Assembly— hope to construct 21, 000 places of convenience by the end of this year.

In his welcome address, the Municipal Chief Executive, Mar. John Nelson Kais Akola said the Assembly is determined to ensure that the municipality maintains the lead when it comes to issues of good sanitation and the environment.

He pointed out that a moratorium was launched on October 1, last year on the existing laws which states that, ‘every household should own a toilet facility by the end of 31st January 2019 and offenders will face possible prosecution’. Mr. Akola appealed to religious leaders to propagate the message of cleanliness in their various places of worship.

The Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Ronald Gerard Striker, congratulated the people for maintaining a clean city and mentioned three pillars that are paramount to the urban sanitation project as the provision of affordable loans through the sanitation fund to rural banks. It also includes increasing access to professional masons and artisans for the people to directly liaise with them to discuss technologies, cost, and availability and then sign-up for construction and increasing awareness of the MMDA legal provisions (bye-laws) and penalties.

Mr. Striker was optimistic that, when next they visit how, it would be declared an open defecation free municipality.

For his part, Mr. Benjamin Kpodo, the Member of Parliament for Ho Central emphasized the Assembly’s responsibility of ensuring good sanitation and clean environment.

The MP urged the residents to focus more on achieving good sanitation, which the fair seeks to provide.

He also advised the people to stop open defecation and restrain from throwing rubbish around, since these activities are some of the causes of diseases and floods.

The Deputy Volta Regional Minister, Mr. Maxwell Quophy Blagodzi, advised the Assembly and the Environmental Health Unit to focus on developing new technologies to dispose and re-use human excreta, and wastewater to achieve good sanitation and a healthy environment.

He said, “there is the need to mobilize ourselves especially women groups to come up with campaigns that will be geared toward practicing healthy hygienic and sanitation practices.”

Other dignitaries present at the fair were the Deputy Representative of UNICEF, Ghana, Mr. Fiachra McAsey, Chairman of the Volta Regional Christian Council, Mr. Seth Mawutor, Assembly Members, Chiefs and Queen Mothers of the Asorgli Traditional Council and the media.

At the end of the program, Togbe Howusu XII, the Warlord of Asorgli Traditional Council and Chiefs of Ho Dome was installed and decorated as the Sanitation Fair Ambassador.


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