Fatima Anafu-Astanga, GNA
Bolgatanga, March 10, GNA - Women groups leaders from the Kassena Nankana Municipality and Bongo District in the Upper East Region have called on government to give greater attention to early childhood development in the communities.
They said the absence of childhood centres did not only deny the children of early formal training that would prepare them for school but also increased the drudgery of mothers, making it difficult for them to undertake their farming activities and other economic ventures.
The more than 80 women made the call on behalf of their colleagues when they met in Bolgatanga to discuss and share ideas on their activities and challenges and to advocate for change, as part of activities to mark the International Women’s Day.
In an open forum, the women asked government to put in place active policies that will liberate and provide them more opportunities for themselves and their children.
Madam Diana Atanzore, the secretary to the Apelinga Aenbinge Women’s Group in Bongo, said in 2017, the roof of the only childhood day care centre in her community was ripped off by storm and had still not been reroofed, thus exposing the children to dust, sun and rain.
Mr Chaka Uzondu, the Policy Manager of Water Aid, the NGO that sponsored the meeting, said celebrating the Day by bringing out women leaders from the communities was meant to facilitate discussions to help them improve their lives.
Speaking on his outfit’s intervention, he said Water Aid worked in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service and the District Assemblies on Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Public Health programmes in the districts to ensure that everyone had access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.
Mrs Yvonne Kafui Nyaku, the Communication and Campaign Officer of Water Aid, said when a woman practiced good hygiene it trickled down to her children and family and the NGO had been educating them on that.
She said the women were empowered to advocate for their needs, especially with the district assemblies and added that the day also provided them opportunities to discuss their rights and ways to approach their challenges through a rights-based approach.
Mrs Nyaku said over 50 communities were being supported to access water and sanitation facilities and expressed the hope that all communities would have access to water and sanitation and a decent place of convenience.
Water Aid works with women groups through partnership with some NGOs in the Region to carry out leadership development trainings for them so as to engage other women groups in other communities so that, together, they can work to solve their challenges.