WaterAid Ghana builds capacity for climate change communication


WaterAid, a UK international non-governmental organization dedicated to the provision of safe domestic water, sanitation and hygiene education, is facilitating the development of communication skills for climate change issues in the face emerging threats of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the beginning of a two-day capacity building workshop for government actors, policy maker environmentalists and journalists, among others, underway in Accra, speakers emphasized the need for the Government to adequate domestic allocations for climate change communication.

Dr Robert Manteaw, a Research Fellow of the Lego based Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability, said, and noted that the effects of climate change are felt everywhere.

Dr Manteaw said the environment was becoming more vulnerable to the effect of climate change in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and said there is the need to pick up lessons of uncertainty that the disease on the human society.

“We need to be prepared to communicate well, especially on issues of climate change. COVID-19 has taught us a lot. There’s no need to wait till something happens before we tackle issue of climate change,” he said.

On the seriousness of the effects of climate change, Dr Manteaw said the situation in Ghana was serious as elsewhere in the world as one nation stands affected by climate issues in other nations.

“If people don’t see the effects of climate change, ask them about the rainfall, weather changes in the rural areas.

“We used to have the vultures on the refuse dumps in the cities. Have you asked where the vultures are?” Dr Manteaw asked, and pointed out that the effects of climatic change are everywhere, and need not to be ignored.

He underscored the need for effective communication strategies to let people own the messages and actions for the phenomenon so that they could take effective action to preserve lives and the environment.

Dr Manteaw asked communicators to excite their audiences about the subject of climate change, and advised investors to take advantage of business opportunities emerging out of climate change tap into its economic benefits.
“Waste is an economic resource in transition, waste it wealth,” he said, adding “you call it shit, I call it money.”

Dr Antwi-Bosiako Amoah, Deputy Director, Climate Change, of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced climate change issue have been incorporated in the curriculum of basic schools and junior high schools would soon have theirs.

He took participants through Ghana’s Acton on Climate Change, the National Climate Change Policy and the Ghana’s National Determined Condition on Climate Change.

Dr Jesse Coffie Danku, Acting Country Director of WatarAid Ghana, announced that the outcomes of the workshop was expected to help in communicating “water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) issues” affecting climate change.

Universal, affordable and sustainable access to WASH is a key public health issue within international development and is the focus of the first two targets of Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) Coronaviruses are a group of contagious, flu-like viruses.

They cause symptoms that can be as mild as a common cold, but in some cases can be fatal. COVID-19 is the disease caused by a new type of coronavirus that is spreading quickly around the world. Early symptoms include; fever, cough and difficulty in breathing-similar to other flu-like illnesses.

In the absence of a vaccine, preventing its spread from person to person is vital to reduce the pandemic’s impact on people’s lives, health, livelihoods and the healthcare systems we all rely on.
Hand washing is key to preventing coronavirus.

Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, and is the first line of defence against COVID-19.

Like a cold, coronaviruses are spread through droplets from a person coughing or sneezing, and potentially via contaminated surfaces.

Good hygiene is key to avoiding spreading it-and catching it.

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