Naba Baba Salifu Atamale Lemyaarum, the Paramount Chief of the Bongo Traditional Area in the Upper East Region, has expressed commitment to setting up a fund to help improve access to Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) services in his traditional area. The establishment of the Fund, he said, would not only help to deal with the challenges of the district but would also support WASH interventions and contribute to mitigating open defecation in the area. He commended WaterAid Ghana for supporting the district in addressing access to water and WASH challenges and said the Fund was the commitment of the traditional area to supporting interventions and projects. ‘For WaterAid to come to our aid and to be supporting us to get potable water, we also need to show our commitment, that the people of Bongo embrace the support they are giving us,’ he stated. The Paramount Chief said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of a stakeholder meeting held in Bolgatanga as part of efforts to find strategic ways of strengthening WASH systems in the Bongo District and the Upper East Region. The Upper East Regional Coordinating Council in collaboration with WaterAid Ghana, a WASH-focused organisation, organised the meeting for stakeholders to interact with the WaterAid Trustees. Naba Lemyaarum indicated that proceeds from the annual celebration of the ‘Azambene’ (fire festival) would be channelled into the WASH, adding that the fund would start with this year’s festival. He emphasised that every household in Bongo would be required to have a sanitation facility and those who could not afford the Fund would cater for them to have household toilets. ‘We are committed that by the year 2030, Bongo should be open defecation free because we cannot be talking about poverty and at the same time suffering from ill health as a result of our own making by polluting the very water, they have provided for us with faecal matter’, he noted. He said there was the need to have healthy people to drive the needed development and that had to begin by ensuring good and safe drinking water. To sustain the Fund, he said, a Special Committee would be set up to manage it and with a deliberate effort by his outfit to solicit for funds from organisations, groups and individuals.
Source: Ghana News Agency