Madam Cecelia Abena Dapaah, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources has said the need to scale up proper environmental and personal hygiene in schools to promote good health among school children is critical.
She explained that with the increasing provision of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities for schools, authorities have an obligation to ensure strict hygienic conditions in schools to prevent the outbreak of hygiene-related diseases.
The Minister who was speaking after commissioning an eight-seater water closet toilet facility at Mmofraturo Girls School in Kumasi therefore emphasized the need for all stakeholders to help consolidate efforts that had prevented the outbreak of cholera and dysentery since 2017.
The construction of the facility, which comes with a solar-powered mechanised borehole was facilitated and supervised by the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) at a cost of GHC196, 956.50.
At a brief ceremony to commission the facility in Kumasi, the Minister said the project was originally an initiative of the Old Girls of the school who contributed to build a new toilet facility but could not raise the needed funding.
Therefore, as an Old Girl and Sector Minister, she stepped in through the CWSA to mobilise resources for the construction of the facility to replace the existing one, which was over 80 years and no longer fit for purpose.
She said the Ministry was seeking to build 30,000 household and 120 institutional toilet facilities under the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area (GKMA) project.
She said the project, which was being funded by the World Bank would ensure adequate toilet facilities were provided to correspond the increasing student uptake, especially in senior high schools.
The Minster admonished both management and the students to ensure proper maintenance of the facility to protect the investment made with the tax payer’s money.
Dr. Worlanyo Kwadwo Siabi, the Chief Executive Officer of CWSA, said as part of efforts to improve on sanitation, his outfit was moving away from KVIP to a system with constant availability of water at a cheaper cost in terms of electricity.
He said although the provision of facilities with solar-powered mechanised borehole may come with initial high cost, it was the way to go for the sake of sustainability and improved sanitation.
He disclosed that a sanitation assessment conducted in senior high schools by CWSA suggested an urgent need to address sanitation challenges in the schools, adding that they were engaging the World Bank to see how best to support them.