The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has presented water, sanitation and hygiene kits to victims of the recent floods in the Northern, Savannah and North East regions to help improve their wellbeing and prevent the spread of communicable diseases.
The items include water containers, reusable menstrual set, bars of soap, chlorine drop for water purification, vitamins, child potty, tarpaulin, garbage bags and multipurpose cloth.
About 1,600 people across the regions who have had their houses completely destroyed by the floods and are currently putting up in schools, churches and temporary camps set up by the North East Regional Secretariat of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) benefited from the gesture to improve on their sanitation situation, as well as set the foundation for long-term recovery.
The torrential rains coupled with the spillage of the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso between August and September this year devastated parts of Northern Ghana, displacing hundreds of people and killing 10 others.
Though the floods have since abated, the living conditions in the area remain dire.
At a brief ceremony at one of the camps at Daboya to symbolically present some of the items to the victims, the Country Representative of UNICEF, Ms. Anne-Claire Dufay, said the gesture was aimed at reducing the risks of contamination and diseases through safe sanitation and improved hygiene practices such as frequent hand washing with soap.
She observed that hygiene and sanitation were always a major concern in any flooding situation because contaminated floodwaters could result in water-borne diseases.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we realised how important it is to wash our hands with soap under running water; my hope is that this community has access to running water and toilet because if you continue to practise open defecation this can bring a lot of diseases and children and adults can get sick,” she said.
Ms. Dufay advised the victims to take their sanitation situation seriously and practise good basic hygiene to improve their well-being.
For his part, the Savannah Regional Minister, Mr. Adam Salifu Braimah, thanked UNICEF for the gesture and said it would go a long way to alleviate the plight of the victims.
He said the government was putting in place stringent measures to relocate them to higher lands in the meantime, while for the long term it was constructing the Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam in order to harvest excess water from the spillage of the Bagre Dam and torrential rains to prevent the perennial flooding.
A victim, Madam Hajara Dawchi, who received the items on behalf of the people, expressed her appreciation for the items and gave an assurance that they would put them to good use to ensure that they served their intended purposes.