The Manager of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programme, Mr. Attah Arhin, who made the call in Accra at a validation workshop, stressed the need for Christian and Muslim leaders to impress on their members to adopt proper sanitation and hygiene practices.
According to him, both the Bible and the Quran were fundamental books that promote not only spiritual growth but best hygienic and sanitation practices to help prevent sicknesses and diseases.
He observed that the filth that had engulfed the country, particularly in the three populous capital cities of Accra, Kumasi and Cape Coast, was due to lack of discipline by the public to stop dumping refuse indiscriminately.
“There are other socio-cultural beliefs and practices of communities across the country that are affecting access to improved hygiene and sanitation hence the call on faith leaders to partner health organisations to help address this situation,” he said.
Mr. Arhin further challenged religious leaders to increase their involvement in the fight against improper sanitation and hygiene due to the confidence and trust reposed in them by the public.
He said it was against such background that the World Vision Ghana, a health organisation, had developed a sermon guide for religious leaders to assist them in shaping the attitude of their followers.
The consultant on the Sermon Guide Initiative, Mr. Lawrence Lerewanu explained that the programme had been designed to bring to the fore doctrines on hygiene and sanitation as captured in the Bible.
He said the Bible provided the platform for Christians to keep their environment clean while adopting healthy lifestyle to prevent sicknesses and diseases.
“The study guide highlights the historical developments including Israel’s pilgrim from Egypt to the Holy Land and their encounters with God. This is to buttress other technical and scientific information on sanitation,” he said.
Quoting Exodus Chapter 19 verse 10 through 11, Mr. Lerewanu said God instructed the people of “Israel to wash their clothes and be ready against the third day for the Lord will come down in the sight of the people upon mount Sinai”.
That, he said, was an indication that God preferred to interact and bless persons who purge themselves of filth.
The Head of Extension Service at Community Water and Sanitation Agency of World Vision, Theodora Adomako-Adjei urged the public to be cautious when buying food from outside but ensure that they eat from very hygienic places.
By Charles Amankwa and Benedicta Ampadu Okyere