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The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Joseph Kofi Adda, yesterday made a statement in parliament in commemoration of this year’s Global Hand Washing Day on the theme, “Our Hands, Our Future.”

It stirred a lot of controversy as to whether Members of Parliament (MPs) wash their hands properly before eating.

The minister also demonstrated on the floor how one can effectively wash one’s hands before eating or after visiting the public place of convenience or after carrying out any engagement that involves the use of the hands.

Both majority and minority members, after the demonstration of effective hand washing, accused each other of not following the proper practice before eating and after carrying out other activities.

The minister, who is also the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Navrongo Central, said scientific research had shown that washing hands with soap prevents diseases in a more direct and straightforward as well as cost-effective manner than the application of any single vaccine.

“The practice of hand washing has become one of the major global sanitation agenda items which have been highlighted every year to increase awareness and deepen understanding of the importance of washing of hands with soap,” the minister said.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Pusiga, Laadi Ayii Ayamba, said visiting the toilet without properly washing hands is one major way of ‘buying’ disease for oneself.

She indicated that there is a disturbing phenomenon in the country where almost all public toilets in the rural and urban areas do not have water and soap for users of those facilities.

She therefore called on the government and for that matter, all metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to make by-laws that will compel operators of the various public toilets to provide water and soap at their facilities to ensure that people wash their hands after using those facilities.

The Pusiga MP also called on the Ministry of Water Resources and the assemblies to ensure that basins with water and soap are provided for pupils in all basic schools to use after extra curricula activities.

The MP for Ellembele, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, said MPs should be agents of change and lead the crusade to educate people in the various constituencies on the need to properly wash their hands before eating and after using the toilet.

The MP for Bodi, Sampson Ahi, called on the government to make it a policy to provide clean and potable water to the remaining 30% of the population who do not have access to water so that they can also benefit from the hand washing crusade.

Alex Afenyo-Markin, MP for Effutu who is also the Board Chairman for Ghana Water Company, assured the house that the company was doing its best, despite the logistical challenges to extend water to all parts of the country.

He therefore called on MPs and members of the public to support the efforts of the Ghana Water Company in extending water to all parts of the country by promptly paying their (water) bills.
Source: Daily Guide

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