The TEN-Win project seeks to improve the health, sanitation and hygiene status of pupils and students, with the aim of positively contributing to the overall health and wellbeing of local communities.
It is on the theme “improving community health-empowering children as agents of change through WASH in schools” — the project will be rolled-out yearly in the six coastal districts within which Tullow and its partners operate.
Mr. Akwasi Amponsah Boateng-Social Performance and Public Affairs of Tullow, at the programme’s launch explained that the six districts cover 31 schools – “We are reaching out to10,000 schoolchildren and teachers with provision of Water, Sanitation and Hygine (WASH) facilities, menstrual Hygiene management, and hygiene education along the coast of the Western Region”.
He said the project is being implemented by Opportunities Industrialisation Centres International (OICI), Ghana, in Partnership with the Ghana Education Service and Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
Mrs. Kate Opoku, the National School, Health, Education Programme (SHEP) Coordinator, noted that WASH provides safe drinking water, improves sanitation facilities and promotes life-long health.
“Health interventions are thus concerned with equipping schoolchildren with basic health knowledge, attitudes and skills vital for their physical, psychological and social well-being.”
She pointed out that approaches in that direction target behavioural changes, and the establishment of relevant school systems to sustain that behaviour change.
“Interventions include the establishment of a safe and healthy environment encompassing all the physical and social structures that promote effective teaching and learning, as well as the health and safety of all the school community’s members,” he said.
She said activities for the project will include creating a healthy school environment through the facilitation of positive hygiene and sanitation behaviour change in selected schools, aimed at contributing to increased school attendance and quality education.
Mr. William Pamford Bray, Board Chairman of OICI, noted that WASH in schools can have a significant positive impact in schools, both on children’s health and on education
“At the same time, evidence shows that WASH in schools can have significant impacts on school enrolment, the vulnerable, absenteeism and school performance,” he said.
He added that the demand for WASH in school facilities, knowledge and skills are continuously increasing, and it is surprising that the Western Region has not benefitted from major WASH interventions by government and its developmental partners.
“The project also focuses on empowering children and the youth to become change-agents who will lead the transformation of appropriate WASH bahaviour in our communities — We applaud efforts of the TEN Partners, initiating such a laudable and innovative project for the Western Region,” he added.
Obrepong Hina Dakyi, Chief of Upper Dixcove in the Ahanta West district of the Western Region, noted that two million children die from diaorrheal diseases in the world — making it the second-most serious killer of children under the age of five.
“The main source of diaorrheal infection is human excreta and poor hygiene; we deserve to be in a healthy environment so that the TEN WASH in school project is sustained — let us all support it,” he added.