The Chiefs, Elders and people of Leklebi Dafor, Leklebi Fiape and its environs in the Afadzato South in the Volta Region of Ghana could not hide their joy and excitement when the Plan International Ghana's team led by its County Director officially commissioned a mechanised borehole and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities for the communities
The mechanised boreholes, provision of institutional and household toilets with other auxiliary WASH facilities formed part of the implementation of the Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (RWASH) project which was initiated by Plan International Ghana with funding from German National Office.
The Chief of Leklebi Dafor in his welcome address at a short but impressive durbar disclosed that the community was having portable drinking water for the very first time since Ghana gained independence some 64 years ago.
"Our enquenchabl joy and ecstasy stem from the fact that the RWASH project was a God sent intervention to save residents of these towns and other adjourned communities from dying from consuming unwholesome water." He stressed
The Chief, Elders and residents of Leklebi Dafor, and Fiape could not stop showering praises on Plan International Ghana and the team which saw to the implementation of the project.
"We are very excited and most grateful to everyone at Plan International Ghana who helped to make our long standing dream of having access to safe, affordable, reliable and sustainable drinking water come true today" the overly enthusiastic chief opined.
He assured the Plan International Ghana team that the community will maintain the facility to live its life span as well as to achieve its intended purpose.
Meanwhile, the Country Director of Plan International Ghana, Mr Solomon Tesfamariam has admonished policy makers to develop a home growth policies to address Water, Sanitation and Hygiene problems which are crucial to the well-being of the citizenry.
The Country Director of Plan International Ghana was of the view that Ghana is in pole position to address the developmental challenges with its own internally generated resources without relaying on foreign assistants.
"I have been to other places on the continent and compering Ghana's GDP to other African countries, I can say that Ghana holds the key to Africa's developmental agenda.
If Ghana is able to develop by using its national resources, the rest of the African continent will also develop but if Ghana fails, that will affect the rest of the continent" Mr Tesfamariam explained.
The Country Director for Plan International Ghana made this observation when he and his team made a stop over at Leklebi Fiape D. A. Primary and Junior Secondary School to inspect one of the many ultra modern and girl friendly toilet with changing rooms for adolescent girls put up by his outfit as well as to interact with pupils and students of the beneficiary school.
Mr Tesfamariam after his inspection and interaction with the students and staff of the school, commended the good people of Leklebi Fiape for helping to complete the construction of toilet and water facility in a record time.
Mr Tesfamariam however, called on managers of the school, the district assembly and the Ghana Education Service to priorities the maintaince aspect of the project.
He therefore tasked management and staff of the school to form WASH management team to manage and maintain the two facilities to ensure it serves its purpose.
In another department, the Headmaster of the school, Mr Kulipo Philip thanked the Plan Ghana on behalf of students and residents of Leklebi Fiape.
Ms Celestine Lawoe and Ms. Benedicta Gakpo both 14 years old JHS 1 and 2 students who spoke to this reporter revealed that more of their female friends now stay in school due to improved water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in the school.
According to them before the construction of WASH facilities, there was no place to change themselves when they are in their menstruation period.
The situation, they claimed sent most adolescent female students out of school, which according to them affected their academic studies.
"Today the situation is different, we now have changing rooms, and access to sustainable WASH services 24/7.
We are excited about this new development and most grateful to Plan International Ghana for this life change initiative." Ms. Gakpo added.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH/GWJN
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