Officially opening a three-day Training of Trainers Workshop for selected staff of councils, Civil Society Organizations and other relevant stakeholders in Social cohesion, Personal and Household Hygiene at the Western Area Rural District Council in Waterloo, Mr. Tondoneh, spoke of the devastating effects of the Ebola crisis on the nation, noting that most the communities are still conflict trapped. He revealed that there are a good number of victims of Ebola crisis who have still not gone back to their respective communities because of a number of factors including stigmatization rejection by siblings and lack of relevant structures to address their plight and disclosed plans by government to address the situation in collaboration with other partners such as the United Nations Development Programme.
He described Hygiene Management as a very serious human development issue and entreated participants to constantly engage and roll out knowledge gained from the training to community stakeholders so that the relevance of the training can be felt. He challenged them to serve as conduit in re-educating the public about hygiene management whilst thanking the organizers of the training for identifying the four councils most affected by the Ebola crisis as beneficiaries. “We must revert to hand washing”, he admonished.
Giving an overview of the project, the Director of Decentralization Secretariat, Alhassan Kanu said the “Strengthening Community Mobilization and Local Council Service Delivery—Post Ebola Virus Disease EVD Project”, was signed by the past Government and World Bank in June, 2017 after the former realized that the need to sufficiently build the capacity of councils to address emergency issues and others issues relating to national development. He said the three components of the project seek to promote community resilience, social cohesion, participation and accountability.
Mr. Kanu described the project as ‘very critical’ especially at a time like this when government is trying to promote social cohesion after the General Elections. He said the four participating councils were selected as a result of the impact they felt during the Ebola crisis and hoped the initiative will promote national cohesion and development. A Development and Governance Consultant, James Vincent, said the training will help hone the skills of the trainees on issues of Social Cohesion, Sensitization, Personal and Household Hygiene. He hoped officials from the various councils who he described as “Foot Soldiers” will utilize knowledge gained from the training judiciously and encourage them to cascade it to their respective communities.
The Minister of Local Government, Anthony Brewah who later made a brief stop at the training venue, thanked the organizers and participants for organizing and participating in what he described as “an important step in transforming the local councils into viable entities”.
Chairman of the Western Area Rural District Council, Cashor Holland Cole who served as chairman of the occasion, described the programme as apt, saying, the impressive turnout of distinguished personalities at the occasion was a manifestation of the importance government attaches to the programme and called on the participants to take the training seriously.