Fluoride Action Network

Bongo Assembly launches five year WASH Plan

Source: Ghana News Agency | March 21st, 2015
Location: Ghana

The Bongo District Assembly in the Upper East Region on Friday launched a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Plan (WASH) to help address such problems in the District.

Unlike other Districts in the Region, the Bongo District has a peculiar problem when it comes to the WASH.

The District is noted for its high level of fluoride content in ground water. The excessive amounts of fluoride found in ground water causes fluorosis, a disease of the teeth and bones.

The most affected people are school children and statics available indicates that about 33 per cent of children in school are affected with dental fluorosis, whilst 63 per cent of children within Bongo central have the same problem.

About 80 per cent of the populace also practices Open Defecation due to inadequate public places of convenience, lack of household toilets, lack of waste disposal sites and poor drainage system.

Speaking at the function in Bongo, the District WASH Schedule Officer, Mr Alebga Simon, stated that as a result of the bad situation in the area, the area continues to record sanitation related diseases and cited for instance that in 2012 there were 9,465 diarrhea reported cases and in 2013 , 10,643 cases.

He said out of the 122 public schools in the District, only five had been introduced and were practicing hand washing with soap and water and stressed that the situation must improve to save the school children from danger.

“Most School Children including the beautiful young women are not able to welcome visitors with a smile because of the bad state of their teeth. If the problem of the fluoride content is not checked now it will worsen the situation”

Mr Alebga said apart from the affected communities getting their source of drinking water from streams, they had to commute for several miles in search of water.

Launching the WASH Plan, the District Chief (DCE) for the area, Mr Alexis Ayamdor tasked the constituted WASH Marketing Committee to work hard to ensure that they achieve positive results, and urged development partners and citizens from the area to support the Assembly to tackle the issue of water, Hygiene and sanitation, since the Assembly alone cannot address the problem.

The DCE lauded the efforts of Water Aid Ghana and the Integrated Action for Community Development for supporting the District to develop the WASH plan and expressed hope that with support from other partners the District would be able to improve significantly the situation by the stipulated period.

Mr Enoch Cudjoe, the Policy Officer of Water Aid Ghana, said his outfit, which is an international Organization, was committed to ensuring that everyone had access to safe water and improved WASH and indicated that Water Aid Ghana and its partners were implementing a three year programme in the Bongo, Gushegu and Accra Metropolitan Assemblies, aimed at empowering the citizens to seek accountability and ensure citizens participation in governance.

The cost of the five year implementation plan of the WASH is estimated at GH¢ 4, 778,321.10, and would be implemented in various thematic areas and phases.