Pupils pay GH¢5 toilet facilities maintenance fees

Authorities of  Public Basic Schools in the La Nkwantanang and Ga East Municipalities  are charging pupils five Cedis per term for maintenance of  toilet facilities in  schools constructed under the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area, GAMA Sanitation and Water Project.

Although this levy is taken separately from  PTA dues  each term, the Head Teachers believe it is inadequate because they have to employ the services of janitors to clean these facilities.

This came to light when members of the Media Coalition Against Open Defecation inspected a number of toilet facilities constructed under the GAMA Sanitation and Water Project.

The schools visited are the Madina S.D.A, Queen of Peace R/C and Wass Experimental basic schools in the La Nkwantanang Municipal Assembly as well as the Abokobi Presby “1” Primary Basic school in the Ga East Municipality.

There were 12 toilet units in each school, serving more than three thousand three hundred pupils in the 4 schools.

Interestingly, all the schools visited charge pupils 5 cedis per term for  maintenance of the facility.

According to the headmistress of Queen of Peace R/C basic school Rhoda Dabinla, the amount is inadequate. She said ” the 5 cedis per term is not enough….we dont have enough money to pay two janitors so we have employed only one for now” 

Headmaster of Wass Experimental Basic School Samuel Kolbila shared similar sentiments.

Patron of the Media Coalition against Open Defecation Dr. Doris Dartey raised concerns about the poor maintenance of the facilities. 

“So far we haven’t been satisfied with the maintenance of this world class facilities. What will be the state of these state of the art facilities in a few years from now?”

The GAMA Sanitation and Water Project is a World Bank initiative aimed at improving sanitation and water supply to low income communities in Ghana.

The tour of the schools by members of the Media Coalition against Open Defecation was supported by GAMA Project.

Source: www. gbcghanaonline.com

M-Code and GAMA inspect toilet facilities in schools

Education Schools Toilet

By Eunice Hilda Ampomah, GNA    

Accra, July 25, GNA – The Media Coalition Against Open Defaecation (M-CODe) and the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) on Thursday inspected new toilet facilities constructed for schools under the GAMA toilet project.

The inspection, conducted in schools within the La-Nkwantanang Madina and Ga East Municipal Assemblies, was also to ensure that the facilities served the needs of the schools. It was also to ensure that the facilities were properly maintained to prolong its usefulness and put a total halt to open defecation.

The schools toured included the Madina SDA School, the Queen of Peace “A and B” Basic Schools in Madina, the WASS Junior High School (JHS) in Adenta and the Abokobi Presby One Basic School.

The team observed that all the schools had janitors, hired to keep the facilities in good shape, however some of the school administrators were not happy with their numbers.

They said the schools were constrained by the non-availability of funds to engage more janitors.

Mr Joseph Quacoe, the Municipal Environmental Health Officer of the La Nkwantanang Municipal Assembly said it was unfortunate to see people still practicing open defecation after all the comprehensive education and enforcement of the law against the practice in the Municipality.

Mr Quacoe, who is also the GAMA Coordinator, said an assessment by GAMA in 2015 showed that about only 45 per cent of households in the Municipality had toilet facilities, however, the percentage had risen to 61 currently, which was a positive sign.

He said some perpetrators of open defecation, who were sentenced to some few months’ imprisonment, and were released, had resorted to the old practice, and therefore they had proposed a hard communal labour sentence for such offenders as punishment.

Dr Doris Yaa Dartey, the Patron of M-CODe said she was happy that steps had been taken to eliminate open defecation in many schools.

She, however, said the problem identified in most of the schools during the inspection was the poor maintenance culture.

Dr Dartey expressed concern about how the state of the facilities would be in the next few years, “if within a year of its construction, maintenance was that far from expectation”.

Ms Rhoda Dabinla, the Head teacher of the Queen of Peace R/C Basic School said the School had 12 toilet facilities, which were inadequate for the over 1,000 student population.

Mr Samuel Kolbila, the Headteacher of WASS Experimental JHS said the facility in his School was helpful and encouraged the students to be punctual in school especially those who do not have toilet facilities at home.

Mr Siaw Kwakye, the Headmaster of the “Abokobi Presby 1 Basic School” said the School was thankful for the facility which was serving the over 800 student population.

He said open defecation had been totally eliminated in the school, the only problem they had, was non-availability of funds to hire more janitors to clean up the facility.

He said one challenge was the non-compliance by some parents to pay GHC5.00 per child to enable the School to maintain the facility, after the decision had been agreed by the Parent Teacher Association.

Madam Beatrice Opoku, the Head teacher of the Madina SDA JHS said her School had a total population of 900 students and the 21-toilet facility constructed for them was meeting their needs.

The School, she said, had set up a committee of teachers and students to monitor and ensure that the facility was well maintained.

Source: GNA