A project aimed at promoting good nutrition and hygiene practices among households in rural communities has begun in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region.

Dubbed, ‘WASH-Nutrition for Health Project’, the initiative is leveraging on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and programme in Healthcare Facilities to empower rural communities to have improved access to nutrition for improved health.

It is aimed at providing universal access to WASH services and empowering rural communities to engage in vegetable production to improve nutrition especially for pregnant women, lactating mothers, adolescent girls and children under five years among other vulnerable groups.

The one-year project is being implemented by WaterAid Ghana, a WASH focused organisation with funding support from the Latter-day Saints Charities.

It is being rolled at Adaboya and Atampintin, two farming communities in the Bongo District and it is supporting five women groups in each community.

Ing. Joshua Taiwo Adefila, Pr
oject Lead for the WASH-Nutrition for Health Project, said the project aimed to bridge the nutrition gap among rural communities particular for the vulnerable through strategic inclusive and climate resilient WASH related interventions.

According to Ing. Adefila who is also a Project Officer at WaterAid Ghana, two gardens under the sub-district dubbed, ‘Harvest her Garden’ had been established at the Community based Health Planning Services (CHPS) of the two beneficiary communities.

The aim is to support the vulnerable communities to engage in all year-round vegetable production as part of efforts to improve nutritional security at the household level and serve as a model for future scale up.

He said already, WaterAid had provided a limited solar mechanized water system with storage capacity of 10,000 litres for the Adaboya CHPS which would provide sustainable water for all year gardening.

He added that construction of another limited solar mechanized water system with storage capacity of 10,000 litres fo
r the CHPS and another 10,000 litres for the community was ongoing at the Atampintin community.

Apart from that, he said, the project was also constructing gender and disability friendly water-closet toilet facilities at the Atampintin CHPS to help improve sanitation and hygiene practices at the healthcare facility level.

He added that the project is working with the Bongo District Assembly, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in Bongo District and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to ensure sustainability, continuity, and maximum impact.

‘We have also trained the beneficiary communities on agriculture best practices, GHS Nutrition manual and linkages with WASH, Infection Prevention and Control, Hygiene Behavioral Changes, Facility Improvement Tools, as well as support the women groups in creating ready markets for excess produce from the garden.’ he said.

Mr Nicholas Atubiga, Bongo District Crop Officer, who sensitised the women groups on best farming practices as part of the project, said the project was
complementing the efforts of the government in ensuring food and nutritional security.

He charged the beneficiaries to embrace the project to improve their livelihoods and encouraged households to adopt backyard gardening to improve nutrition.

The beneficiaries thanked WaterAid Ghana and its partners for the project and noted that it would not only help to improve nutrition at the household level but would help them engage in income generating activities through the garden project.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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