Oti’s Environmental Health Directorate fights typhoid
The Department of Environmental Health of the Oti region has put in place fortifications against the spread of typhoid disease.
The Department, with the support of the Regional Coordinating Council and other direct stakeholders, including community members and the police, is fighting to end the pollution of Lake Oti, on which the region thrives.
The Ghana News Agency (GNA) was briefed on the efforts during the closing meeting of a five-year USAID sanitation project in the region.
Mr Andrew Nawil, coordinating director for the region, told the meeting that the typhoid disease invasion followed the long prevalence of sanitation problems, which have been attributed to behavioral attitudes of open defecation free and improper waste disposal.
“Typhoid is the most common disease in Dambai Municipality. Almost everyone who enters for the first time is greeted with typhoid. The water is very bad, ”he lamented, calling for the WASH For Health project, which is helping end open defecation in more than 200 communities, be extended a little longer. .
He told the GNA that the Department of Environmental Health was supported in its battle for sanitation, and also to continue the efforts of Global Communities, the non-profit organization that implemented the WASH for Health project.
Ms. Sybil Boison, Regional Environmental Health Officer (REHO), told the GNA that community members volunteered every Thursday to clean up the riverside and surrounding areas.
“We are working at the source to make sure solid waste does not enter the water, and we have made some progress. The volunteers have been working as early as 4:30 am for the past three months, and the individuals are supporting us with brooms, dustpans and other tools, ”she said.
REHO said wire mesh had been installed in the drains to prevent garbage from reaching the river, and the ministry had contacted the Zoomlion waste disposal agency to provide dumpsters at points strategic.
“The garbage goes into the river and we have to go there to remove it,” she noted, and said road signs would be put up to warn of the garbage.
“The river is the source of drinking water and the idea is to stop the spill and make sure all the stores along the drains feeding the river have garbage cans,” she added.
Ms Boison said efforts continued along the region’s main river enclaves and that the ministry had created urinals at landing sites, while ensuring the pontoon remained “very clean”.
The availability of potable water is the major challenge in the water-rich region and is responsible for the disastrous results of sanitation.
President Akufo Addo, in response, recently announced a multi-million dollar water project in Dambai, which would launch an ambitious effort to pump clean water throughout the region.
USAID’s WASH For Health project is part of humanitarian efforts to address the sanitation challenges in the region and has provided water supply systems to communities in addition to thousands of household toilets, while working to improve sanitation behavioral outcomes.