The heads of basic and senior high schools who benefitted from the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area Sanitation and Water Project (GAMA-SWP) have raised concern about inadequate Assembly funds to support the management of the facilities.
They indicated that a good number of the completed school toilets handed over to them were currently in a bad state due to lack of access to water and neglect by the Metropolitan, Municipal District Assemblies (MMDAs) and the communities.
They also contended that the situation was hampering the progress of ensuring sustainable management of the institutional toilets.
The sentiments were expressed at a day’s knowledge sharing forum on operation and maintenance of schools’ sanitation and water facilities and to come up with sustainable ways of managing the toilets as well as the environmental challenges facing them.
Mr George Asiedu, the National Coordinator of the GAMA-SWP, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said with almost all the toilets completed in schools, th
e Sanitation Ministry deemed it necessary to monitor the management of the facilities.
‘It is also to start sharing lessons, experiences and what to expect in effectively operating and maintaining these facilities to ensure their sustainability,’ he stated.
Mr Asiedu said on the account of the initiative, selected beneficiary schools from the Ga East, North, South and West, Ayawaso East and North, Adenta and Ablekuma North municipalities in the Greater Accra Region, were expected to share perspectives on how they intended to implement their facility management plans to support discussions.
‘Under the GAMA-SWP, which is sponsored by the World Bank, we have provided 406 institutional toilets to some selected schools to curb students giving excuses of attending nature’s call and to ensure a good atmosphere for the core business of the schools,’ he stated.
Mr Asiedu said the selection was because about 85 per cent of schools from 2010-2015 in Accra did not have toilets on their compounds and resorted to the u
se of public places of convenience or engaged in open defecation, exposing residents to health risks.
‘It takes commitments from the school heads and School Health Education Programme (SHEP) Coordinators to ensure cleanliness in their compounds,’ he stated.
He emphasised that the MMDAs had a crucial role towards ensuring sustainable facility management in the communities and called for collaboration among the people to address the issue.
Mrs Constance Owusu Sekyere, the SHEP Coordinator for the La-Dade Kotopon Municipal Assembly, appealed to GAMA-SWP to involve stakeholders at the various schools to do the needful and ensure the maintenance of the facilities.
Mr Vincent Tay, a representative of Trend Consultancy, who facilitated the meeting, urged the participants to focus on four main issues involving the management of the toilet facilities, maintenance, contract with cleaners and operational cost to ensure sustainability.
Source: Ghana News Agency