The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources has commended the Coalition of Zongo Leaders against Open Defecation (ZOLAOD) from the Ashanti Region for their contribution towards the improvement of sanitary conditions in Zongo communities in the country.
ZOLAOD, since its inception, has led a massive campaign to promote ownership of household toilets in Zongo communities, especially through the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) Sanitation and Water project, in efforts to eradicate open defecation in Ghana.
The GAMA project is a World Bank grant of US$150 million to support the government of Ghana’s efforts to increasing access to improved sanitation and improved water supply in the GAMA, with emphasis on low-income communities, and to strengthen management of environmental sanitation in Accra.
According to Mr Amidu Issahaku Chinnia, Deputy Minister, Sanitation and Water Resources, every effort to address sanitary conditions anywhere must be encouraged to reduce the burden on various healthcare facilities in the country.
ZOLAOD received the commendation last Thursday during a courtesy call on the Sector Minister, Ms Cecilia Dapaah, who was represented by her deputy.
According to Mr Chinnia, many sanitation-related diseases could be eradicated from communities where open defecation was prevalent through intensive awareness creation on the dangers of the menace.
“If we are able to handle matters of sanitation very well in this country, the nation’s health budget will be reduced significantly considering the high number of sanitation-related ailments that various health facilities record,” he said.
Spokesperson for the Ashanti Regional Chief Imam, Alhaji Ustaz Ahmed Seidu, in his remarks, indicated that the steps taken so far by the ministry to address open defecation in the country were bold and good ones, adding that his outfit would also continue to be strong advocates against the menace.
In a related development, the ZOLAOD team, before their meeting at the Sanitation Ministry, also paid a courtesy call on the National Chief Imam, Shiekh (Dr) Nuhu Sharubutu, at his residence in Fadama, Accra.
The visit was to, among others, seek the support of the National Chief Imam on their activities while assuring him of ZOLAOD’s readiness to support all efforts by the government and well-meaning Ghanaians to bring an end to open defecation in Zongo communities.
Alhaji Seidu, in his remarks to Sheikh Sharubutu, expressed gratitude to the office of the National Chief Imam for accepting the position of a Chief Sanitation Patron offered him by the sector ministry in 2019, and using his authority to ensure the success of the GAMA project.
He also called on the government to extend the project to all Zongo communities because “the bio-digester toilet technology is very convenient for the Zongo communities as it does not require too much space to construct, aside its affordability”.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU