Zoomlion Ghana Limited, in collaboration with other organisations from the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) project, has distributed hygiene items to 50 schools as part of activities to commemorate this year’s World Water Day.
The partner organisations were the German Development Corporation (GIZ), PURESCO Africa, the Embassy of Hungary, and World Vision Ghana, with the beneficiary schools coming from the Eastern, Greater Accra, and Volta Regions.
The beneficiary schools participated in the University of Environment and Sustainable Development’s (UESD) Community Development Challenge Project.
Mr. Yaya Souare, Technical Advisor of GIZ, said at the event in Somanya, Eastern Region that the items given to the schools indicated doing something practical to support hygiene management in schools, practice waste sorting, and celebrate World Water Day.
Ninety waste bins and accessories, ninety hand washing stations, four plastic presses to compress plastic waste and recycling materials, and 16 tricycles to transport waste products were among the items.
World Water Day is an annual global celebration held on March 22 to raise awareness of the importance of water and how to protect it.
The theme of this year’s celebrations was “Accelerating Change.”
Mrs. Gloria Opoku Anti, Managing Director of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, a waste disposal company, explained that the company had initiated the Zoomlion Corporate Social Responsibility programme, which works with the Ghana Education Service to set up and promote Zoomkids clubs in primary and junior high schools to promote peer education on hygiene.
“We have reached over 526 schools nationwide, and over 500,000 school children have participated in Zoomkids’ CSR programme,” she said adding, “Zoomlion Ghana Limited has collaborated with the Forestry Commission to implement Zoomkids Tree Plant Project to protect the environment for fresh water.”
Mr. Yaw Attah Arhin, WASH Technical Specialist at World Vision Ghana, guided the participants through relevant topics on clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, all aligned with the goal of SDG 6—access to water and sanitation for all.
He urged citizens to increase their efforts to ensure safe drinking water in the long term while avoiding open defecation and other poor sanitation practices.
Professor Eric Nyarko-Sampson, Vice Chancellor of the UESD, spoke about the UESD – Community Development Challenge, saying that it is a pilot project for upper primary school children (primary 4-6) to work on plastic waste management and explore innovations in the field of responsible waste management.
He asked them, “As young as they are, what are your views on how best issues of plastic waste can be managed?” and explained that the initiative was run by the university’s Community Engagement Project and Innovations Unit.
Mr. Godfried Ofoe Caesar, Coordinator of the Eastern Regional School Health Education Programme (SHEP), expressed gratitude to the World Water Day celebration partners for the kind gesture to the beneficiary schools, saying it would help them practise waste segregation.
He advised students to share their knowledge on water and sanitation issues with the rest to change behaviours in communities and schools.