General News of Thursday, 20 December 2018
Source: Prosper Agbenyega
Ghana First Company Limited (GFCL), experts in the construction of sanitary facilities, has through its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, supported the Countryside Children Welfare Home in Bawjiase in the Central Region with the donation of large quantities of food and assorted items for the upkeep of the orphans.
The items which are valued at millions of Ghana Cedis included bags of rice, toiletries, cantons of bar soaps, detergent, gallons of frytol cooking oil, biscuits, cartons of milk, bags of sachet water, bags of sugar, assorted and soft drinks among others.
The company also made a cash donation of GHC6000 for management of the Home to use in registering both the children and staff onto the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Addressing the children during the presentation of the items, the Chief
Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana First Company Limited, Frank Akuley said the donation of the items, though little is to add to the comfort of the children.
He said the children, all of whom have big dreams of becoming great in future need much attention, care and protection hence the gesture which, according to him will not be a one-day wonder.
He said the company will from time to time come to the aid of the children in order to help the teachers, caregivers and cooks to train them into becoming responsible citizens with achieved dreams.
Frank Akuley urged the teachers and caregivers to make it a duty to train the children to be responsible, stressing that they must instil in them the culture of cleanliness and to take sanitation seriously.
He said poor sanitation has become a serious menace crippling the nation since government uses huge sums of money including a chunk of the NHIS Levy to fight filth.
According to him, those monies could have been used to support other government initiatives likes the free SHS, construction of roads and schools if people adopt good attitude towards sanitation and companies go into waste recycling and processing.
He said it is estimated that the country loses a total of GH¢1.440billion, equivalent to US$369million, annually as a result of poor sanitation and the menace of open defecation and that the cost was calculated taking into consideration factors such as health and medication bills, loss of tourism revenue, and loss of man-hours to illness and death emanating from poor sanitation and open defecation.
The situation, he said has manifested as a result of low prioritization and poor implementation of policies and strategies meant to transform the sector including weak enforcement of laws and bye-laws, weak inter-sectorial coordination, and inability to scale-up tested models and approaches have also been cited as contributory factors to the problem.
He said sanitation education must be introduced at the lower primary so that children can grasp the teachings at an early age to be able to grow with good habits.
On his part, Mr. Humphrey Patterson who received the items on behalf of management of the Home expressed gratitude to Ghana First Company Limited and promised to ensure that the items are used to support the children’s welfare.
Mr. Patterson who was enthused about the cash donation towards their NHIS registration said such support is rear and was so much appreciative that teachers, caregivers and cooks will all benefit.
He also said the Home is facing difficulty in paying salaries of teachers, caregivers and cooks and payment of electricity and water bills is also a problem.
He appealed to corporate organisations and benevolent individuals to assist the home which currently has about 60 children under its care.