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Regional News of Sunday, 17 May 2015

Source: GNA

Artisans urged to be innovative

Artisans have been urged to be innovative in constructing portable toilet facilities for homes and communities to reduce open defecation and, by extension, minimise diseases.

Mr Stephen Ntow, the Director of WASHealth Solution, a consultancy, said the innovation could attract market for the artisans which would eventually entice the microfinance companies to support them to build more of such facilities for households.

He gave the advice at a day’s forum for artisans, entrepreneurs and persons from financial institutions on the way forward to ensure good sanitation in homes, communities and the environment in general.

It was organised by Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), a non-governmental organisation into health and education, and supported by Ghana-Netherlands WASH Programme on sanitation.

The participants discussed the outcome of a sanitation market survey conducted in five metropolitan and municipal areas namely; Ga South, Ga West, Ga Central, Cape Coast, and Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem.

The findings, among other things, brought to the fore the pitfalls in sanitation, enabling environment for sanitation market opportunities and the potential market available for entrepreneurs to tap into.

Mr Ntow said for the artisans including masons, carpenters, plumbers and steel benders to get assistance from the banks, it would call for sincerity between them and the landlords in order to access loans to construct the sanitation facilities.

Madam Cecilia Senu, the Executive Director of HFFG, said open defecation was the major cause of diseases and there was the need for Ghanaians to be responsible and keep the environment clean at all times.

She said it was important to build the capacity of sanitation players so as to impact on landlords to provide toilet facilities in their homes to mitigate open defecation.

“There is the need for a behavioural change by Ghanaians towards the environment to reduce diseases,” she said.

Sponsored by UKaid, the Ghana Health Service, Youth Development, Research and Innovation Centre and the Institute of Social Research and Development, the broad objective of the forum was to formulate strategies to reduce by up to 70 per cent the practice of open defecation in the five metropolitan/municipal areas.