Environment of Hope (EoHope), formerly QueenCare International, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has organised a day’s workshop in Sunyani for queens and children in the Brong Ahafo Region to sensitise them to the need to protect the environment, especially water bodies, since they are the primary users of water in society.
The workshop, on the theme: “Gender Water and Sanitation: Building the case for sustainable use through transparent and accountable mechanism”, was also to educate participants on good hygiene and environmental practices and the judicious use of water.
The World Bank and the Centre for the Development of the People (CDP) were the sponsors of the workshop.
Addressing the workshop, Mr Divine Komla Adjei, Extension Services Specialist at the Brong Ahafo Directorate of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), said about 280,000 people in the region are to benefit from potable water and safe sanitation facilities under the Peri-Urban, Rural and Small Town Water Supply Project by 2012.
He said the project was a joint initiative by the Government of Ghana (GOG) and the French Development Agency (AFD) and it would cover 680 rural communities, 16 small towns, and a peri-urban area in the region.
Apart from providing access to potable water and safe sanitation facilities, it would also educate the people on good hygiene practices.
Mr Komla Adjei said the target of the government was to reach 100 per cent coverage in the provision of potable water and safe sanitation facilities nationwide or at least 85 per cent to enable the nation to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
Aside this, he said the International Development Agency (IDA) and World Bank was also supporting the water and sanitation project in the region and the others in the country to ensure that the nation achieved 85 per cent coverage by 2015.
Mr Komla Adjei said the major concern now was the sustainability of the facilities and therefore called for the participation of all stakeholders to help sustain the facilities that would be provided under the various projects.
Mr Anthony Duah, Programme Officer at the Regional Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who presented a paper on “Gender and the Environment”, said since the start of human history, women had contributed essentially to the conservation, use and management of natural resources.
He urged the queens to use their traditional roles to impress on people to desist from farming along river banks.