Ghana Gas and its partner, Quantum Terminal through their community needs assessment have initiated moves to end open defecation along the beaches of Atuabo in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region.
In line with that, the two firms have cut-sod for the construction of a modern 20-seater toilet facility for the chiefs and people of Atuabo at a cost of GH¢580,000.
Speaking to Citi News at the sod-cutting event, the Senior Manager of Community Relations and CSR at Ghana Gas, Stephen Donkoh, said due to their commitment to helping end open defection in the area, Ghana Gas and Quantum Terminal will adopt the toilet project after construction and maintain it to keep serving the people.
“It’s a 20-seater toilet with handwashing facilities. The model we have is that, we will adopt and absorb the cost of maintenance of that toilet. The maintenance will not be just the structural maintenance, but the day-to-day caring of the place would be part of our responsibility,” he said.
He further explained plans to get more of the residents to use the facility which is to be completed within 10 months.
“It can be made free for people to access it because along the coast we have this problem of people not being able to access toilets, and we want to cure that. So we are even looking at other things that we want to add to the facility to attract the people to use it. After all, these, if the District Assembly is implementing the By-laws, then nobody can say they don’t have the toilet“, he explained.
Ghana Gas and Quantum Terminal also cut-sod for the construction of a nursery school block and four self-contained teachers’ quarters for Atuabo, estimated to cost GH¢7.4 million.
The Community Relations and CSR Manager of Ghana who said all the projects are expected to be completed in 10 months justified that the nursery and the teachers’ quarters answer a critical need of the people of Atuabo.
“Our CSR is based on five thematic areas, thus education, health, sports, skills building and then water and sanitation. So this is one of the areas that we are fulfilling as far as our CSR policy is concerned. The Atuabo population keeps increasing because of the gas facility and its associated businesses and for that matter, it makes sense that we put this one here. Other firms have provided the upper-level basic schools, and so we need to augment that with the nursery and the kindergarten to give them a holistic educational complex. It will have other facilities like toilets, a handwashing bay and a resting place for the kids. Per the needs assessment we did, this was the priority of the people of Atuabo and that is why we are doing this. Definitely, if you are putting up a nursery for the kids, the person who is going to take care of the kids must also be taken care of and that is why we are doing the teachers’ quarters”, he noted.
District Chief Executive of Ellembelle, Kwasi Bonzoh also speaking to Citi News during the sod-cutting said such projects that address community needs are commendable, hence thanked Ghana Gas and Quantum Terminal for complementing government’s effort.
“As an Assembly, we are grateful to the two companies for embarking on these projects to enhance the livelihood of the people. With the advent of petroleum activities in this area, there has been some negative impact on the communities especially the cost of living. Cost of living has risen so high and while the people’s nominal income hasn’t increased, their expenses have increased which is making them impoverished. So it is incumbent on these companies operating here to invest a lot more in those communities to enhance their livelihood in terms of education and economic development so as to make up for the direct benefit the people are not getting“, he said.
Kwasi Bonzoh however called on the two construction companies carrying out the three projects, Estek Vision Construction and Kingsman Royal Construction not to sacrifice quality for profit.
William Potei Tei who is the Managing Director for Estek Vision construction in response assured of quality work and completion within schedule.
“Looking at the closeness of the projects to the beach, they are going to be prone to corrosion, so the right material selection would be key for us. We want to assure the community that we will work within standards”, he assured.
Ghana Gas and Quantum Terminal have also earmarked the expansion and retooling of the Anyinase Health Centre as the next major project to be carried out this year.