Some indigenes of Atuabo in the Ellembelle district of the Western Region are resorting to defecating along the beaches inspite of the availability of a newly constructed public place of convenience there .
This was disclosed at a one day Regional Level Stakeholder Engagement organized by the Opportunities Industrialization Centres International (OICI) on the Tweneboa , Enyera , Ntomme (TEN) Community – Led Environment and Beach Improvement and School Sanitation Project (CLEBISS) in Takoradi.
Presenting a base line survey results on the 6 Coastal districts in the Western Region , notably ,Nzema East , Ellembelle , Ahanta West , Jomorro , Shama and Sekondi / Takoradi Districts , the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of OICI , Wisdom Tsidi said most people who chose to defecate along the beaches in Atuabo said they prefer doing that than using the recently constructed public toilet there put up by the Member of Parliament for the Area , Honourable Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah who do not belong to their political party. The M& E officer for OICI further added that despite the availability of about 6 toilets in Esiama in the same district , residents around were not patronising them making the attendants wonder what the issue may be? He added that at Shama and Aboadze in the Shama district , most indigenes around prefer to defecate along the beaches for no apparent reason despite the existence of toilets saying such acts will take a drastic behavioral turn around to change hence the need for the TEN – CLEBISS project targeted at behavioural change on environmental health practises in some selected communities of the 6 coastal districts. He revealed that along some of these beaches that they defecate , areas are demarcated for females and males. He also revealed the lack of adequate changing rooms for school girls who menstruate in some of the basic schools along the six coastal districts thereby affecting their attendance and academic performance.
The Project Director of the TEN-CLEBISS project , George Dorgbetor was unhappy about the attitude of some duty bearers to issues of environmental health at the various metropolitan, municipal, district assemblies (MMDAs) , saying “…when you approach some of these DCEs ,they will ask you what toilets are you constructing for us since they seem not to be interested in the behavioural change aspect…; look at this programme , we invited various district and metro coordinators but except the DCE of Shama how many top officials are here?” ; he lamented .
He revealed that the poor environmental health practises along the 6 coastal districts are affecting tourism as during their rounds they encountered some hotel operators who lamented about how visiting tourists cut short their intended stay at their hotels after they walk along the beach only to find it littered by human excreta. He revealed that the project is being funded by the TEN partners notably Tullow Ghana, Kosmos Energy , Anadarko, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC )/and Petro.South Africa. He said the 1year project ends in 2018/and it is focused on behavioural change to environmental , water and sanitation health practises, adding that OICI has already engaged the various communities and selected 123 coordinators who will lead to do education in 26 communities.
The project is expected to reach 40,000 community members and 15,000 school children.
The various School Health Education Programme officers were present as well as the various environmental health officers of the six coastal districts; who gave an overview of their environmental health situation in their various districts. The Data Analyst of the Western Region Coastal Foundation (WRCF) , Japhet Lartey did a presentation on the general sanitation situation in the 6Coastal districts.
Also present was the District Chief Executive of Shama, Hon Joseph Amoah and the Social Performance Advisor for Tullow , Korkor Ohene Gyan.
Wisdom Tsidi -0244580980