Muslim, Christian Clergies Discuss Kids’ Hygiene

Pastors, Imams and traditional leaders in a group photograph after the forum

The Light
Foundation, an Islamic Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) has held a one-day
forum of Imams and Pastors on Child Protection and Water, Sanitation and
Hygiene (WASH), last Tuesday.

The forum, held at
the Swiss Spirit Alisa Hotel in Accra, comes under the Zongo and Muslim
Communities support for Communication for Development initiative (ZOS-C4D
Project) and forms part of efforts to use imams and pastors as agents of
promoting good sanitary and hygiene practices, preventing open defecation,
constructing latrines across communities and child protection.

In his opening
remarks, Sheikh Abubakari Ali Napari,
founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Light Foundation stated that the forum has over the years,
worked in close partnership with leaders from various religious backgrounds in
the areas of health, water and sanitation and child marriage and protection.

He said through
initiatives such as sermons, radio programs and effective house monitoring, the
foundation has been able to promote campaigns such as abolishing of open
defecation, construction of latrines in homes, girl-child education, among

Speaking on behalf
of the National Peace Council (NPC), acting
executive secretary, George Amoo, iterated the NPC’s preparedness to
partner any organization or group working towards the peace and development of
the country.

“Peace and
development are two things that go together. We cannot separate them from each

“If we
develop the schools, the hospitals and the roads and there is no peace;
teachers will leave the schools, nurses will leave the hospitals and the road
users will leave the roads,” he said.

Sheikh Armiyawo Shaibu, spokesperson for the National Chief Imam, Sheikh
Nuhu Sharubutu, in his address also stressed the need for interdenominational
collaboration towards the national good.

Citing Quran 16:8, the Islamic scholar noted that the
Holy Quran advises Muslims to “collaborate, partner and corporate” with people to
work for the good of mankind.

Matters of health,
sanitation and hygiene, he added, are essential for the well being of people.

He urged Ghanaians
to make conscientious efforts towards ensuring proper sanitation in the

“God has given us
dignity and that dignity has to be protected. Let us cooperate with God and man
to ensure that, there is good health for all,” he urged. 

Emmanuel Nyarko-Tetteh, Child Protection Specialist at UNICEF said studies have revealed that 250,000
children fail to reach their full potential due to child abuse, and failure on
the part of parents to nurture their children.

He thus urged
parents not to use force in admonishing children.

By Nii Adjei Mensahfio

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