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Akooko and Esikasu are farming communities in the Eastern Region with estimated dwellers of 3,000 and 2,000 people respectively. With Cocoa farming as the main occupation of these two communities, they are strong contributors to local sourcing in the Eastern Region.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene facilities, however, as basic resources for everyday life elude these two communities contributing to poor healthy living standards.
Nestlé, bringing to life its “Purpose of enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future”, has provided Akooko and Esikasu communities with Water and Sanitary facilities through its partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Dwellers of Akooko now have a borehole producing about 192,000 litres of water per day distributed through 8 standing pipes in vantage locations of the community. In Esikasu, 2 boreholes have been drilled while broken water points have been refurbished to serve the community sufficient water daily in addition to a “biodigester” toilet facility.
Secretary General of IFRC, El Hadj As Sy who visited Ghana for an advocacy conference on Global Road Safety, conducted a field visit with some officials of Nestlé and IFRC Ghana to Akooko and Esikasu to evaluate the GhanaWASH project and interact with beneficiaries to reflect on its impact.
Samuel Komlorm Assemblyman of Esikasu thanked Nestlé and IFRC for their contribution to raising health awareness and providing the communities with water and sanitary facilities. He also commended the project partners for expanding WASH to cover needs of people with disability. “One area often ignored in the provision of water and sanitation services is needs of people with disabilities. We are happy that the Nestlé-IFRC WASH project is consulting and involving people with disabilities in the planning and implementation of activities”, he said.
El Hadj As Sy, Secretary General of IFRC commended the good work of the Ghana Red Cross team and volunteers for delivering WASH services to communities and facilitating positive change in the lives of vulnerable people. He thanked Nestlé for a great partnership and financial support that is leading to addressing WASH challenges, including prevention of diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea in deprived communities.
Philomena Tan, Managing Director of Nestlé Ghana said, “Nestlé believes that industry has an active role to play if the Sustainable Development Goals should be a realization. As a Nutrition Health and Wellness Company, we commit to strategic partnerships to help make sustainable impact in communities directly connected to our business. This is one way we demonstrate our commitment to Rural Development under our Creating Shared Value concept to help improve 30 million livelihoods directly connected to our business by 2030”.
Since inception of the GhanaWASH project in April 2016, the programme has enabled over 52,000 people gain access to safe water and reached over 60,000 people with health and hygiene education through community social mobilization. In addition, 1,300 staff, stakeholders and community volunteers have improved skills and capacity to manage and maintain WASH services. The Nestlé-IFRC WASH project contributes to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 which seeks to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”.