www.padfm.com.gh / May 27, 2021.
Mr. Peter Dery, Head of Retail Banking for United Bank for Africa (UBA) said the Bank as part of it’s initiatives is happy to commission a state of the art sanitary facility for the people of Attrubuto in the Damongo township at cost of one hundred and thirty thousand dollars ($130,000).
Being one of the biggest banks in Africa and operates in 20 different African countries, the UBA has been given back to society with different initiatives, hence it is a Pan African bank.
“As a bank, social cooperate responsibility is very key and paramount to whatever we do. We have so many initiatives and provision of this toilet facility is one of them”, he said.
The UBA also has other important initiatives such as Read Africa, where we encourage Africans to read, national essay competition that is being organized annually for SHS students with, winners being offered scholarships and laptops as prices, we have educational and entrepreneurial projects to support Africans to develop their own businesses, among others, he added.
When Hon. Abu Jinapor approached the bank last year to support the community construct the toilet facility, the bank considered it because open defecation causes harm to society. We are are aware of the health hazards of open defecation and therefore will contribute to help the fight against it.
When the project was completed some months ago, we couldn’t do the handing over to the people of Attrubuto community because of the Covid-19 pandemic and it’s associated protocols.
He thanked the current regional minister, Saeed Muhazu Jibril, Damongo MP Abu Jinapor, for the cooperation accorded them during the construction of the toilet facility with a borehole attached to it.
He appealed to the West Gonja Municipal assembly and the hon. Assembly Member to own the facility and take very good care of it so that it will serve the purpose for which it was established.
He disclosed that the bank has many more collaborations with the West Gonja Municipality to undertake in future and so the community must own the toilet facility and take very good care of it to open gates for more.
The UBA team included, Mr Peter Dery – Head, Retail Bank, who spoke on behalf of the Managing Director. Mr Henry Nii Dittey – Head, Marketing and Cooperate Communications and Mr Francis Obuamah – Business Manager, Tamale Branch.
The Savannah regional minister, Saeed Muhazu Jibril was full of praise for the bank.
He revealed that, as the then MCE for West Gonja Municipality and now the minister for Savannah region, when the collaboration between the UBA bank, West Gonja Municipality and Damongo MP started, he was very instrumental to getting a decent sanitary facility for the people of Attrubuto.
The location of the facility was strategically chosen because it was an open defecation area. This place had uncompleted toilet that wasn’t usable but the people were using it forcefully because they didn’t have a choice, he disclosed.
Saeed Muhazu Jibril commended the bank for it’s numerous initiatives such as the Read Africa initiative and the essay competition for SHS students and called on them to open a UBA bank branch at Damongo because the town has just one bank, the Ghana Commercial Bank.
Saeed Muhazu Jibril said a lot of departments are springing up in Damongo and therefore, it is becoming difficult for one bank to control the cash flow in and out of the town, so opening up a UBA branch here will help control the cash flow of the area.
Women businesses such as cassava and honey processing are growing each day, the pressure to access loans from the only bank here keeps increasing and other businesses are springing up, so it is in order for the bank to open a branch in Damongo to help control the financial demands of the people, he appealed.
Saeed Muhazu Jibril appealed to the West Gonja Municipal assembly, the hon. Assembly Member and the people of the area to maintain the toilet facility to help attract more projects in future. He promised his office will collaborate more with the bank to help bring more developmental projects to the people of Savannah region.
The Coordinating Director for West Gonja Municipality, Philemon Ankorley, commended the bank, the Damongo MP, the Savannah regional minister and people of Attrubuto for their efforts during the construction of the state of the art toilet facility with a borehole.
He said one of the core mandate of the West Gonja Municipality is to promote sound sanitation practices. Philemon Ankorley revealed that the UNICEF open defecation project has seen the assembly performing poorly in the past three (3) years, mainly because the people lack decent toilet facilities.
We are therefore very happy to have this project here, it will help improve the poor sanitation practice here.
He charged the people of the area to own the project and keep proper care of it to help kick out open defecation in the area.
Hon. Assembly Member for Attrubuto/Abingakura electoral area, hon. Alhassan Adam (APS) said some 827,000 people living in low and middle income countries die as a result of inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene each year, according World Health Organization (WHO).
This represents about 60% of total diarrhoeal deaths and poor sanitation is believed to be responsible for some 432,000 deaths.
The WHO further indicates that diarrhea remains a major killer but largely preventable. It states that Better water, good sanitation and proper hygiene could prevent the deaths of some 279,000 children aged under five (5) each year.
He further stated that Open Defecation perpetuates a vicious cycle of diseases and poverty and therefore very happy to see the UBA construct the state of the art toilet facility at Attrubuto.
He thanked the UBA bank for providing the community with the toilet facility and assured the facility will be taken good care of to help serve the people for a longer period as it will lead to improved sanitation and reduce health hazards. He also thanked the hon MP for Damongo constituency and the regional minister for the role played in getting the toilet facility for the area.
Heads of departments and staff of the West Gonja Municipality, religious and traditional leaders and people of Attrubuto helped grace the program.
www.padfm.com.gh / Abdulai Zulkaninu