NGO holds cleanup exercise, sensitises community on Marbug virus, others 

By Benjamin A. Commey

Accra, Aug 21, GNA— A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has organised a cleanup exercise to tidy streets of Ablekuma and its environs in the Ga Central Municipality. 

The NGO, ‘Dromo’ Foundation, a children and women-focused organisation, also sensitised the community members of  sanitation-related diseases, including COVID-19, Marbug virus and Monkey Pox. 

The over four hours exercise was carried out in partnership with the Martin Hayford Ministry International, Ablekuma traditional authority and the Ga Central Municipal Assembly. 

It was geared towards creating awareness on the need to maintain a clean and a healthy environment and to facilitate achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals on climate and environment. 

Participants, among other things, cleared overgrown weeds in the median of major roads and pavements and removed silt that had gathered on the road. 

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Naa Dromo Ollenu, President, ‘Dromo’ Foundation, said the exercise was necessary to tidy the community and protect it against any possible disease outbreak. 

She said, as an organisation focused on the wellbeing of children, a clean environment was a must for them. 

“Statistics show that in every year, about 3,600 children die out of diarrhea because of poor sanitation and water,” she said. 

Ms Ollenu added that the exercise was to prepare the community ahead of the Homowo celebration by the Awutus. 

“Also, we wanted to take the opportunity to create awareness that COVID-19 is still around. Now, we have marbug virus, we also have monkey pox and it is killing people,” she added. 

She urged the public to continue to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols, especially wearing of nose masks and hand washing, to protect them against the virus and others. 

Mr Martin Hayford, President, Martin Hayford Ministry International, said as a church, they understood the need to keep the clean environment as that pleased God. 

“There is this saying that; cleanliness is next to godliness. So being clean, your community also being clean, I believe it makes God happy. 

“Also, the outbreak of the COVID-19, monkey pox and co, I believe dirt contributes a lot to that, so keeping a clean environment will minimise their outbreak, ” he said. 

Mr Hayford appealed to the residents to show interest and take active part in the cleanup exercise the NGO together with the Church would subsequently be embarking on. 

It is estimated that Ghana loses GH¢420 million annually, representing 1.6 per cent of Gross Domestic Product each year due to poor sanitation, according to a World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Programme report.