Water in Africa Through Everyday Responsiveness (WATER), a Non-Governmental organization, has presented WASH facilities to schools and communities as part of a project to eliminate Skin-Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in the Akuapem North and South municipalities.
The WASH facilities included ceramic water filters distributed to households which rely on boreholes and streams to ensure safe drinking water as well as handwashing stations in schools and vantage points in the communities in addition to the construction of boreholes.
The beneficiary communities and schools included Abenta, Gbolo Kofi, Teiko and Nyamebekyere in the Akuapem North municipality, Anamenapa, Dago, Kwame Ntow, Nsakyi, Goten, Aburi Amanfrom, Ayim, Dumpong and Oboadaka all in the Akuapem South municipality.
Ms. Yvette Neh, a project technical officer for WATER, who presented the items in the various communities and schools, indicated that the gesture was to reinforce the handwashing practice and hygiene in schools as well as to ensure safe drinking water for the communities.
She said that all skin-NTDs and other infections spread through water and unhygienic conditions, hence the project uses a holistic approach by tackling the root cause besides providing treatment for those infected.
She urged households to use the water filters for the intended purpose and not to store them in their rooms.
Also, school children should make handwashing a frequent practice as they now have handwashing stations to prevent infections which are endemic in the communities.
The formation of the WASH groups is part of a project being undertaken by the NGO, with funding from ANESVAD, a Spanish NGO, working to reduce NTDs in Ghana.
It is in partnership with local authorities to eradicate Skin-NTDs in communities within the two Akuapem municipalities.
Akuapem North and South are among the areas in the Eastern Region, which have communities-endemic in Skin-NTDS such as Buruli Ulcer, Leprosy and Yaws.
Statistics show that 35 communities in Akuapem North recorded several cases of Leprosy, Yaws and Buruli Ulcers between 2018 and 2022.