Sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities in healthcare facilities and public places in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region remain a major challenge.
Residents at a Town Hall meeting at Paga, the District capital, noted that many health centres, Community-based Health Planning Services (CHPS) compounds and public places were without sustainable WASH facilities to enhance quality service delivery.
They said many houses also lacked household latrines. The meeting was organised by WaterAid Ghana, a WASH-focused organisation as part of its WASH in community project being implemented in the Kassena-Nankana West and Bongo Districts.
The participants commended WaterAid Ghana and its partners for the immense investments in the WASH sector in the district which provided some healthcare facilities with potable water but said the challenge was still huge.
Mr Anthony Adatu, the Assemblyman for Nakolo Electoral Area, noted that the major issues affecting the district were quality healthcare, access to water and good sanitation practices.
He said many CHPS compounds in the district were not in good shape to deliver quality healthcare services to the residents as many of them did not have WASH facilities to enhance hygiene and good sanitation practices.
He said the CHPS compounds at Bonia and Kulia communities were in a deplorable state and had been abandoned, compelling residents to rely on only the CHPS compound at Nakolo which was also not in good condition as it lacked sustainable WASH facilities.
“There is no toilet facility at the Nakolo market because the one that is there is not in good shape and people cannot use it.
There is also a problem with water at the market and the community since the borehole being drilled by the Member of Parliament is not yet ready so we are appealing to WaterAid and other development partners to assist the community,” he said.
Pe Thomas Asangehera Aluah, the Divisional Chief of Kazigo Community, said apart from many schools in the district not having sustainable water and sanitation facilities, many communities did not have water sources, including boreholes, making them trek long distances to access water.
He said the District Assembly needed to increase budgetary allocations towards the provision of WASH facilities and services to improve the health needs of the people.
Mr Aneateba Bertinus Alconsa, the Kassena-Nankana West District Assembly Engineer, said although the water coverage in the district had improved, sanitation practices including the use of household toilets continued to be a challenge.
He said the Assembly had developed a strategy, where a community which needs a borehole must be declared open defecation free before being assisted with the water and that was working well.
Mr Gilbert Asante, the Programmes Manager in charge of Policy, WaterAid Ghana, said access to WASH facilities and services was key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies needed to prioritise WASH in their medium-term development plans.
He said the citizens had the right to demand and hold their duty bearers accountable for development projects in their communities and the Town Hall meeting was meant to create such an interactive platform among citizens and policy makers.