African Media Aid (AFRIMA) and Global Media Foundation (GLOMEF), human rights and social development non-governmental organisations (NGOs) based in Sunyani, will from next year institute Sanitation and Hygiene Awards to recognise outstanding achievements of organisations, individuals and communities in the country, in the area of sanitation and hygiene.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AFRIMA, Raphael Godlove Ahenu, who announced this, said the awards would help motivate individuals and organisations to support and mobilise communities to improve upon their sanitation and hygienic conditions.
Mr. Ahenu was speaking at the launch of a campaign dubbed, "Access to Clean Water and Sanitation." The event was on the theme: "Investing in Water and Sanitation: A Wise Investment for Health, Dignity and Development," at Odumase in the Sunyani West District of the Brong-Ahafo Region.
The CEO of AFRIMA noted that records indicate that over 1.8 million children die from diarrhoea, which could be prevented with access to clean water.
He continued that school days were lost to water-related diseases, and that the majority of the populations in developing countries, suffer from health problems caused by lack of clean water supply and poor sanitation.
According to him, a survey conducted by AFRIMA in the Brong-Ahafo Region, indicates that many schools and communities in the region do not have toilet facilities and potable water.
Mr. Ahenu said it was against this background, that AFRIMA/GLOMEF initiated the campaign, with the main goal of creating public awareness on the negative effects of unsafe water and poor sanitation.
He said under the campaign, toilets and water would be provided for needy communities and schools. The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Sunyani West, Kwadwo Osei Asibey, in a speech read on his behalf said, considering the importance of water and sanitation in the life of man, it falls on all to invest in those sectors, to ensure quality life.
He noted that the assembly had rehabilitated seven boreholes in some communities, at the cost of GH¢4,090, and commended AFRIMA/GLOMEF for the initiative, and pledged that the Assembly would support the campaign.
The District Environmental Health Officer, Isaka Adamu, on his part, appealed to the Sunyani West District Assembly to provide the sanitary inspectors in the district with motorbikes, to make them more mobile in their duties.