Africa Schools Sanitation Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has handed over a renovated urinal to the management of Tutu Methodist Junior High School in the Eastern Region.
The move, being their first project, formed part of efforts to address lack of decent toilets, urinals and potable water facilities in schools in Africa particularly, Ghana.
At a short ceremony at Tutu Akuapem yesterday, the founder of the foundation, Mr Osei Tutu, a renowned broadcast journalist said the gesture formed part of the foundation’s core values and objectives to provide a decent school environment for public schools in Africa, especially Ghana.
According to him, the renovation works which took nine days to complete was at its deplorable state which denied the students place of convenience for the past years.
“Currently the foundation, through the benevolence of some persons, has constructed and renovated toilet facilities in four schools across the country including this which took just nine days to be completed due to its dilapidated state,” he added.
Mr Tutu said research conducted by Water Aid in 2013 indicated that a whopping 1.5 million school children were killed each year in sub-Sahara Africa due to unsanitary conditions in schools.
According to him, information from United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and Ghana Statistical Service also showed that, only two out of five schools in Ghana had toilet or pit latrines and running water.
“Interestingly, there are 18,530, 8,850 and 900 public primary, Junior High School (JHS) and Senior High School (SHS) respectively in the country,” he stated.
Mr Tutu stated that the foundation aimed to mobilise community, individual and business-based resources to ensure the objective of the project was achieved.
He called on individuals, stakeholders and co-operate institutions to partner with his outfit and adopt at least a school in their respective areas for massive facelift exercise.
“Government cannot do it alone therefore we are appealing to every individual Ghanaian home and abroad, businesses, industries, associations, International organisations, churches, and wealthy individuals to support this cause to ensure schools have conducive learning environment for the Ghanaian and African child,” he added.
The headmistress of the school,Ms Linda SerwaaBoateng, who received the facility on behalf of the school expressed gratitude to the NGO for the gesture saying it had come at the right time.
She promised to put the facility to good use and called on other benevolent individuals and institutions to also come to their aid to ensure the students study under a conducive environment.
BY VIVIAN ARTHUR