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Ronny Yeboah's Fundraiser:

Clean Communities for Better Lives

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BENEFITING:

Ronny Yeboah

THE STORY:

The quality of our environment determines the quality of life in us. This is so because every aspect of our life is dependent on the environment. Access to decent communities for better life is a fundamental human right which no section of society ought to deprive of. Unsanitary conditions negatively affect our social and health status, indirectly decline our economic gains and psychologically oppressed our self-esteem and progress. A clean community is a free community with lots of transformational and progressive benefits. These progressive benefits, which comes along with proper sanitation practices are what the Centre for Environmental Research and Policy Analysis –(CERPA) endeavor to promote in the Ghanaian society. Clean Communities for Better Lives is a program designed by CERPA to address community sanitation challenges and promote positive environment practices by carefully taking into consideration, complexity of underlying factors of poor community sanitation in Ghana. We focus at going into the local communities to mobilizing community members through opinion leaders and established associations to join hands for cleaning exercises. By involving community members, opinion leaders, and traditional authorities, we intensify the desire to promote proper sanitation and hence dwarf any adverse consequences which may result from poor community sanitation. We are much aware about the fact that, it is not enough to go into communities to mobilize people for clean-up exercises in an attempt to find lasting solutions to poor community sanitation. This activity, though is helpful and bring sanitary in these communities, it is short live and unsustainable. Our Clean Communities for Better Lives program therefore introduces an effective sanitation and environmental education as a complement to our community clean-up exercises. This sanitation and environmental education focuses on changing behavior and common practices which undermine decent sanitation and hence promoting positive actions in communities. To ensure sustainability of this program, our environmental education is always designed to fix in an already established community associations and fun clubs. Thus, CERPA liaise with community organized associations to propagate its community sanitation education. Where there are no such associations or fun clubs, community members are mobilized to form local sanitation clubs whose member are serve as sanitation stewards in their various communities to ensure that the benefits of this program will continue even after CERPA has left these communities. Again, we are equally aware that, to promote community sanitation, it is not enough to breed environmentally conscious community members. It also means providing all the necessary conditions favorable for such practices. No matter how conscious they are, community members cannot keep filth and other kinds of wastes in their rooms and in their pockets for weeks, such filth will surely end up in streets and in gutters to block drainages. Judging from observations and complains gathered from our community sanitation exercise campaign so far, it clear that majority of community sanitation problems stem from absence of basic necessity to ensure community sanitation. These communities can said to face high sanitation injustice. They live in these communities without designated refuse dump site or waste bins and where these are provided, waste bins are never emptied on regular bases as it is done in commonly known residential areas in the country. For this reasons, our program focuses on seeking sanitation and environmental justice for these communities by demanding their deserving stake in the appropriation of state’s effort for improved sanitation. We dialogue and negotiate with appropriate authorities and institutions to support and provide for these communities the needed logistics to facilitate improved sanitation. We equally seek support from our partners and donor agencies to support this wealthy action. CERPA’s major focuses for this program are to help bring decent community sanitation in poor urban communities. This will help to reduces persistent outbreak of communicable and common diseases which are sanitary related such as cholera, diarrhea, typhoid, malaria among others of which the poor communities are the most victims. This program will also focus on supporting and promoting local initiatives which seek to promotes sanitation, improve human welfare and enhance economic benefits. There are some viable locally devised sanitation technologies found in many of these poor communities, and with little push and support, these technologies can be turned into economically staunch venture for the local people which at the same time will help improve sanitation situation in these communities.

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