Cummins Ghana provides Odorgonno SHS water and sanitation facilities

A $145,567-dollar water and sanitation project funded by Cummins Ghana has been inaugurated and handed over to the authorities of the Odorgonno Senior High School in Accra.

They are; a 20-seater toilet facility, 20-cubicle washrooms, washing bay and drying area, two drilled and mechanised boreholes, painting of boys and girls dormitories, and the renovation of the boys shower area.

The project which is to improve hygiene at the school was started in March, under the Cummins School Improvement Projects in collaboration with Global Communities which undertook behavioural change activities.

Mr Fred Aryeetey, the General Manager of Cummins Ghana in an address said their major focus was to provide right environment, especially for female students to feel comfortable to learn to assist in closing the gap in academic performance between boys and girls.

He said women played very pivotal roles in the building of a nation and therefore there was the need to make their lives easier at school to equal their male counterparts.

“We need to work hard to ensure gender balance in whatever we are doing by creating equal opportunities for both sexes for them to do better because when they do the entire society benefits,” he said.

Mr Aryeetey said enhancing and focusing more ladies involvement in decision-making helped to grow businesses and that there was the need to encourage the girls into all subjects in school, particularly the sciences, mathematics and the arts.

“I want to see more women ministers, chief executive officers, managers and to hear a woman say I want to be President of this country, hence making things comfortable for them to surge ahead,” he said.

He advised male students to continue to study hard and to ensure that they become what they want to be in future.

Mr Aryeetey said the expectation of Cummins Ghana was that the facilities would be used to improve on the past records of the Odorgonno SHS as well as improvement in enrolment, especially in the area of gender balance.

He urged the school authorities to ensure that the students handle the facilities well and inculcate in them the culture of maintenance to prolong the lifespan of the projects.

He said: “These facilities had been put up for us and we should own them. We should not allow people to misuse them,” adding that; “indeed government is always under pressure in terms of resource and so whenever a private organisation come out to invest in any institution I believe it is important we individually and collectively take care of it by showing a sense of ownership.”

The General Manager encouraged teachers that in spite of the challenges that they might face in their profession they should still continue to surge on because without them society would seriously be in difficulties.

“We are very conscious that at times as teachers you work under very difficult circumstances but I wish to say that those of us in industry, business and commerce sincerely appreciate you and your contributions to society,” he said.

Mr Aryeetey paid glowing tribute to the Headmistress of the school, Dr Mrs Shine Ofori and her management for their fantastic leadership and desire to always get the best for the institution, saying “God will bless you all.”

In her welcome address, Dr Mrs Ofori expressed gratitude to the Cummins Ghana and the Global Communities for their intervention to save the difficult situation faced by the students in terms water and sanitation.

She said the school had a student population of 2,000 and almost 200 staff and that sanitation had been their big predicament since they could not afford enough dustbins for the large compound.

She said the school dormitories were infested with bed-bugs and they had to spend huge sums of money to fumigate the rooms while the students spent study time in search of water and crossing the busy road in front of the school.

Dr Mrs Ofori said Cummins Ghana together with Global Communities came to the aid of the school with several supply of sanitation materials together with toilet and washroom for both boys and girls.

“They sponsored repairs works and painting of the boys and girls dormitories with inesfly paints and now the students are free and the issue of bed-bugs had been a thing of the past,” she said.
The Headmistress said Cummins had adopted the school and expressed the hope that with their partnership the academic excellence of the institution would be improved.

She said over the years the school authorities had been bordered with the location of the Gas Station at the school compound close to the Assembly Hall, however, she assured that the Gas Station had stopped operation and that the Ga Central Municipal Assembly was doing everything possible to relocate it.

Dr Mrs Ofori appealed to Cummins Ghana, the Global Communities and other corporate bodies to support the school in its library project, which is at the standstill and repair of other dilapidated facilities to improve teaching and learning.