WaterAid Ghana, a water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) focused non-governmental organisation (NGO), has inaugurated a sanitation facility for the Bolgatanga Senior High School (BIG BOSS).
The project, executed at a cost of GH¢1,291,483, formed part of the organisation’s Sustainable and Hygiene Services in Institutions (SWASH-I) project with funding provided by the Zonchonis Charitable Trust, a United Kingdom (UK) based organisation.
The provision of the facility has brought a huge sigh of relief to the about 2,700 students and 200 staff of the school, who in the absence of proper sanitation facilities, were compelled to practice open defecation and engaged in insanitary practices.
Speaking during the hand over ceremony, the Head of Sustainable Services Programme, WaterAid Ghana, Sampson Tettey, said the execution of the project was driven by a deep commitment to improve the sanitation situation in the school.
He noted that the completion of the project deliverables leading to the construction of a gender sensitive and inclusive WASH facility symbolised not just the physical structure, but it represented the embodiment of progress, empowerment and brighter future of the users.
He said “the provision of safe WASH facilities was in tandem with the health and dignity of the people”, adding “sanitation facilities do not only prevent diseases but also they create an environment for proper hygiene as well as ensuring the well-being of the people.”
The WASH facility
He added that the WASH facilities were not just static structures but rather, the basis upon which the beneficiary students could build a fulfilled future with achievement, aspirations and positive change.
Further, Mr Tettey urged the students not to only utilise the facility but to ensure that they shared the knowledge they had acquired in relation to proper hygiene practices with others, stressing “by doing so, you would become agents of change and influence the lives of others in the society.”
The headmaster of the school, Ababu Afeilbeik, admitted that over the years, the school had struggled to get a functional sanitation facility to serve teachers, students and visitors who visited the school.
He said “the absence of a proper WASH facility compelled especially the students to engage in open defecation which became an eyesore”, adding “as a result, we continuously knocked at the doors of institutions for support to address the problem.”
He stated that WaterAid Ghana responded to the school’s request and constructed the project within four months which had brought huge relief to the people and commended the organisation for its timely response to the school’s request.
He pledged their commitment to the proper usage of the facility and gave an assurance that the project would be well-maintained.
In view of the high student population, he appealed for more of such projects in the school to reduce the pressure on the new one.
For his part, the Talensi District Engineer, Simon Alebega, thanked WaterAid for the project as it complemented what the district assembly was doing to improve conditions in the school.