Intervention Forum (IF), a non-governmental organisation, has organised a municipal-level Sanitation and Health (S&H) accountability forum at Kasoa in the Awutu Senya East Municipal Assembly (ASEMA) of the Central Region.

The forum’s objective was to inform and stimulate citizens’ interaction with the Municipal Assembly, its zonal councils as well Zoomlion and the Municipal Health Directorate on the status of implementation of the 2019 S&H projects and also their 2020 action plans on S&H.

It was held under the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation’s Voice for Change Partnership (V4CP) programme, an advocacy programme that aims at intensifying the voice of civil society organisations and citizenry to demand more equitable, affordable and sustainable S&H services and improved policy implementation at the municipal level.

Concerns raised by participants during the engagement include refuse collection, household toilet facilities, enforcement of sanitation laws, and drainage systems within the municipality.

Madam Nora Ollennu, Chief Executive Officer of IF, said there is the need for all stakeholders to collaborate to ensure that concrete measure are put in place to address sanitation issues within ASEMA.

She expressed the hope that the forum would contribute to citizens’ gaining knowledge on what to expect from these key institutions, their roles as citizens in the process and also provide an opportunity for them to draw attention to critical S&H issues within their communities.

Mr Godson Mawutor Lodo, Municipal Environmental Health Officer at ASEMA, said there has been a massive improvement with regards to sanitation enforcement and compliance due to the intervention of the various zonal councils.

Mr Lodo said this was as a result of means of transport to be able to reach out to areas where these issues were emanating from and called on the Assembly and other stakeholders to provide the unit with vans, to reach out to all areas within the municipality.

Mr Isaac Nana Abban, Municipal Director, Ghana Health Service, said ‘drinking clean water, using clean materials for storing water, practicing proper handwashing, surface cleaning practices; and food hygiene practices’ was their area of focus.

Madam Vincentia Dandzo, a Sanitation and Health Officer at Adam Nana Kpormetey Zonal Council, said for 2019 there was the target to inspect 465 premises and 26 schools, however, they covered 280 premises and 12 schools, as at the third quarter.

Mrs Mabel Teye, Chief Environmental Health Assistant at Iron City Zongo and New Town Zonal Council, said their target was to sensitize 750 food/drink vendors on the need to undergo medical screening by the year 2019, and so far 600 had been screened and issued with certificates.

She said they also aimed at educating and persuading 10 landlords who do not have toilet facilities in Kasoa Zongo, to construct household toilet; and so 5 out of the 10 have registered for the construction of bio gas latrines.

Mr William K Tugli, Chief Environmental Health Assistant at Akweley Zonal Council, said some common nuisance detected include insanitary pit latrines, insanitary drains, indiscriminate dumping of waste water, and indiscriminate dumping of refuse.

He said as part of the effort to bring sanity in the area, their target was to summon 15 sanitary offenders in Kaemebre in Akweley Zonal Council to appear in Court by the end of December 2019.

Mr Stephen Kutumpah, Environmental Health Officer at Opeikuma Zonal Council, recommended that the Assembly should provide sanitary tools to all Zonal Council Offices purposely for national sanitation exercises.

He said the Ghana Education Service should not grant permit to schools which did not meet the requirement and there should be an alternative way for sensitizing food vendors rather than solely relying on Assembly’s information van.

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