Maame Akua Ohenewaa Gyimah, Child Sanitation Diplomat, has advocated that children be involved in finding suitable solutions to address challenges in sanitation.
She suggested to stakeholders to support and expand the Children Sanitation Fair, the School Sanitation Solutions Challenge, and the Child Sanitation Diplomat Initiative.
These she explained were clear innovations that sought to raise a sanitation-conscious future generation to help change the sanitation narrative.
“Stakeholders may adopt this concept at the local level so that more children will be involved, we also do not think that it is out of place to create a session for children in all subsequent MOLE WASH Conferences”.
Reading her solidarity message as the Child Sanitation Diplomat at the 33rd annual MOLE Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Conference at Elmina in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA), she tasked people in authority to refrain from bad sanitation practices and be better role models for the younger generation.
The five-day annual MOLE conference organised by the Ghana Coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) will reflect on the complex mix of interventions and the systems required to deliver sustainable WASH services to the people of Ghana, particularly the poor and vulnerable.
It will discuss among others, the systems, approaches, and models of WASH service delivery and how to connect these systems to bridge service delivery gaps.
Maame Ohenewaa Gyimah, an 11-year-old Junior High School one (JHS-1) student, called on stakeholders to provide families and institutions with the needed sanitation facilities to reduce the rate of open defecation in the country.
She appealed for a modern toilet facility for her school, Dawanya Methodist Basic ‘B’ School, which has a population of more than 4,000 pupils.
“We all share only an old and dilapidated toilet facility with less than 10 seats; a facility which has also been taken over by the community”.
The situation, she noted, had compelled some of the children to defecate and urinate in unapproved places which she was not happy about.
Reacting to the plea of the Child Sanitation Diplomat, Mr Amidu Issahaku Chinnia, the Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR), tasked the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area ( GAMA) Sanitation and Water Project to begin assessment study to have first-hand information about the situation.
The Ministry resolved to create an enabling environment with sector players to improve on water and sanitation issues in the country.
Participants were drawn from MSWR, World Vision, The World Bank, Global Communities, Ghana Water Company Limited, Media Coalition for Open Defecation, Plan International, Environmental Service Providers Association.
Others are United States Agency for International Development, United Nations Children’s Fund, Water Aid, Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Catholic Relief Services, Community Water and Sanitation Agency, among others.