13-year-old Sanitation Ambassador of the Empathy Ghana Foundation, a nongovernmental organisation, Ms Precious Boateng has indicated that a huge percentage of all reported sicknesses; injuries and other adverse effects of poor sanitation hit children more.
It is for this reason that she has advocated the need for attitudinal change amongst Ghanaians in order to curb the bane of poor sanitation on the country.
Speaking at the Launch of the Basic School Sanitation Clubs hosted by the Ga East Municipal Assembly (GEMA), in Accra last Thursday, Ms Boateng said, the war against unsanitary condition must be fought unabated.
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has indicated that a child dies every minute from malaria which is caused by mosquitos that breed and multiply in filthy areas.
“Alarming reports from UNISEF indicated that 82,000 children as a result of improper sanitary conditions in the country die before the ages of five,” she said
In order for these fatal consequences to be abated and that the future of the ordinary Ghanaian child is secured, Ms Boateng called on the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, the Metropolitan and Districts Assemblies to roll out strategies and activities to ensure a clean and healthy environment.
She asked that among other things, the government provides enough waste bins, toilet facilities and other sanitary interventions in the schools, markets and communities that do not have.
The Class six pupil of the Shepherd Scholars Preparatory School further called for intense supervision of food vendors in our communities to ensure they practice good personal hygiene most especially now that the rains have set in.
“I will be very much pleased if everyone got involved. It is a war we must win…Let’s kill filth before it kills us,” she stressed.
Representing the Sanitation minister, Mr Anthony Mensah said government is doing all it can to improve sustainable sanitation and water for all.
As part of those plans “an estimated 19,000 household toilets are being constructed in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area by the ministry under the GAMA sanitation and water project,” he revealed.
The vision of GEMA is to institute sanitation clubs in about 30 schools with the total population of 30,000 students.
According to the Municipal Chief Executive, Madam Janet Tulasi Mensah, these children would be enriched with education and information on segregation and recycling of waste.
This, she said would go a long way to improve sanitation in schools and the communities in which they are situated.
It is expected that the knowledge garnered by the students would trickle down to the house holds since children have proven to be effective change agents.
By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ firstname.lastname@example.org