The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), in collaboration with Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), and partners Hygiene and Behaviour Change Coalition (HBCC), Unilever and the UK Government, has marked this year’s World Toilet Day with a float through the communities of Jamestown and Old Fadama in Accra, highlighting the need to build toilets whiles reinforcing COVID-19 prevention messages.
World Toilet Day is an annual global event organized to raise awareness on about the 4.2 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation.
It is about tackling the global sanitation crisis to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6: Water and Sanitation for all by 2030.
The event was climaxed at Old Fadama with an address by the Mayor of Accra.
The Mayor, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, in a speech read on his behalf by Mavis Narkie Tetteh, disclosed that the Assembly through the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area Sanitation and Water Project (GAMA-SWP), had provided access to improve toilet facilities for some 4,200 households with the average use of 10 persons per facility, as well as 25 Institutional Sanitation Facilities (varying from 10-20 seater) in 23 clusters of schools in the City.
He said the Assembly through the household toilet facility hopes to eliminate open defecation, improve access to basic sanitation services and encourage sustainable behavioral change towards hygiene.
He urged citizens to approach the Assembly to acquire a toilet facility at a subsidized rat, adding that one would only have to choose a package that best suits them out of the GHS 600.00 or the GHS1, 100 payment plans.
He also used the occasion to caution city dwellers against the COVID-19 pandemic, and urged them to wash their hands frequently and wear masks always.
“Staying hygienic saves lives; soap and water save lives” he said.
The Secretary of Old Fadama Public Toilet Association, Mr. Nartey Oware, commended the Assembly’s efforts towards improving sanitation in the community, and appealed for more hand washing facilities to promote good hygiene.
Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor and its partners Unilever and UK Government also used the occasion to donate hand washing stations, nose masks and Unilever Lifebuoy branded sanitizers to the Agbobgloshie Market and lorry terminals.
Additionally, WSUP led similar event in Kumasi and Tamale. Hygiene messages were delivered to residents of Kumasi and Tamale including public toilet operators and users, as well as market centres and lorry terminals through radio and face-to-face campaigns.
Hand washing stations, lifebuoy hand sanitizers soap, nose masks and hand gloves were donated to public toilets, market centers and lorry terminals to facilitate to promote proper hand hygiene practice to prevent hygiene-related infections and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The activities were led by officials of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Tamale, Oforikrom and Suame Municipal Assemblies, who educated the public on the benefits of good hygiene practices and the negative impact of not washing hands frequently with soap under running water.
The NCCE officials also educated the public on how to wash hands properly with soap under running water.