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Regional News | Jul 7, 2004

People in Northern Ghana show lukewarm attitude towards sanitation -

GNA

Principal

Tamale, July 7, GNA - There are indications that bad sanitation practices in Northern Ghana are impeding the achievement of the 90 per cent target in the acquisition of domestic toilets for individuals and families as envisaged in the National Sanitation Policy document. Mr Philip Anladomo Kwaku Zori, Principal of the Tamale School of Hygiene made this observation at the second annual "Sanitation Week" celebration of the School in Tamale on Tuesday.

Mr Zori said the document's goals of providing 90 per cent of the population with acceptable domestic toilets and the remaining 10 per cent with access to hygienic public toilets would not be achieved in Northern Ghana if the people did not embrace good sanitation practices. The weeklong celebration, which would include public education on sanitation and community and individual action on sanitation in the Tamale Metropolis, has the theme: "Poverty Reduction, the Sanitation Factor in a Peaceful Environment".

Mr Zori said proper environmental sanitation was a public good, since any improper waste disposal by one individual could affect all community members.

He therefore called on communities, private sector enterprises, NGOs and government institutions to play their roles properly in maintaining a high standard of environmental sanitation so that domestic and commercial activities would have no prejudicial effect on the health or the living and working environment of others.

The Principal announced that the school has gone into partnership with the District Capacity Building Project (DISCAP) to build the capacity of the District Environmental Health Units in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.

He said 176 million cedis had been spent in upgrading the skills of 50 District Environmental Officers under the five-year project, which would cover all the 24 districts of the three Northern Regions. Mr Zori said the school had upgraded its entry requirement from the Middle School and Junior Secondary School Leaving Certificates to the General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level and the Senior Secondary School Certificate with a minimum of aggregate 24.

He called on the government to improve the salaries of the tutors and provide staff accommodation and a hostel facility for the school.

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