African Countries Moving Back And Forth On Open Defecation

open defecation
open defecation

Madam Anne Mutta, Multi Country Programme Manager, Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A), a Non-Governmental Organization has said that Ghana needs a strong national agenda towards achieving an Open Defecation Free (ODF) environment.

She noted that since independence, African countries kept moving back and forth between Open Defecation (OD) and ODF statuses, thus the need for strong policies that included post ODF management strategies.

Speaking at a Volta Regional Inter-Coordinating Council meeting in Ho on Monday, Madam Mutta said the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) might not be the only result-driven approach, and asked stakeholders to understand its motivation and principles.

She said CLTS worked best in homogenous communities, therefore specific designs and approaches to total sanitation had to be formulated for the districts.

Madam Mutta said ODF triggering must be concentrated in urban areas, because most residents in peri- urban communities were tenants and lacked capacities to change their sanitation management conditions.

She said merely dumping fecal matter in waste fills was not enough in managing fecal sludge, as the disease transmission chain was still maintained.

Madam Mutta said most latrines were basic, poorly constructed, and so close to homes that, the contamination was much higher and posed same health risks as defecating in the open.

She said stakeholders needed to be ahead of the people and develop the strategies whiles steering their energies and enthusiasm in finding sustainable sanitation modules, and suggested that districts have their own league tables to prepare themselves for the national scale.

“It’s unfair to us and our identity as Africans to resort to bushes for convenience. We need to take it upon ourselves and see it as a burden, that resources that could be spent on higher needs, are being spent on simple sanitation issues”, Madam Mutta stated.

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