The Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS), in collaboration with the Swiss Red Cross, has engaged stakeholders to deliberate and reach consensus on a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project it plans to implement in the Upper East Region.
The meeting held in Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional capital, was attended by District Directors of Education, District Directors of Health, Heads of Departments, Representatives from the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council and Community leaders, among others.
Mr Samuel Kofi Addo, the Secretary-General of the GRCS, said the objective was to enhance knowledge sharing and get stakeholders to commit to a successful implementation of the project.
He said the project became necessary after his outfit conducted a baseline study to assess the situation of WASH in six districts in the region, namely Bongo, Binduri, Nabdam, Pusiga, Talensi and Kassena Nankana Municipal.
The study showed that most educational institutions, healthcare facilities and communities within the study districts lacked access to WASH facilities, hence the canker of open defecation was still prevalent, he said.
Based on the study, he said, a structured logical framework had been designed to help in the implementation, Monitoring and evaluation of the project which would increase access to potable water and service delivery, healthcare facilities and schools in the various communities.
"We also want to enhance sanitation by increasing access to improved sanitation and hygiene management within the districts that we work in," he added.
Mr Addo said the GRCS would ensure the sustainability of the WASH facilities by instituting management structures and linking them to government institutions such as the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) for complementary support.
He called on stakeholders to commit to the successful development of the project and urged community members to embrace the project as theirs.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene are the necessities of life yet they are not available to some people in the rural areas.
Several International Development Agencies including the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) assert that attention to WASH can improve healthcare, life expectancy, students' studies and gender equality.