Government and other stakeholders have been urged to pay more attention to the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) situation at schools and health facilities to ensure quality service delivery.
Mr Timothy Aman-Abey Akanpabadai, Regional Operations Manager of World Vision International, Ghana (WVI), who made the call, said improving the WASH situation at schools and health facilities in the country would quality education and health care delivery for all.
He made the call while addressing the inauguration of the Northern Regional branch of the Media Coalition against Open Defecation (M-CODe) in Tamale on Wednesday.
The M-CODe is a partnership between WVI and Kings Hall Media, and it seeks to develop the capacity of the media as advocates for improved sanitation, especially for the eradication of open defecation in the country.
It also seeks to challenge relevant authorities and leadership at all levels to take action to stop open defecation.
Statistics show that over six million people in Ghana currently defecate in the open, a practice, which exposes all the citizenry to diseases.
Also, about 30 per cent of basic schools in the country do not have toilet facilities just like some health facilities.
Mr Akanpabadai said “it is painful seeing school children going into the bush to defecate because they do not have toilet facilities” adding such a situation was not good for sound academic activities.
He said “everybody is affected by open defecation even if some do not practice it because the wind will blow it into your homes” calling on the citizenry to join the campaign to change people’s behaviour to stop open defecation in the country.
He lauded journalists for partnering with civil society organisations to work at changing people’s behaviour towards open defecation, saying people should prioritise latrines ahead of kitchens.
Alhaji Alhassan Issahaku, Northern Regional Coordinating Director, who launched the Northern Regional branch of the M-CODe, lauded the partners for the initiative saying “Sanitation is the basis of development and we do not need to lose out on it because if we do, we cannot develop.”
Alhaji Issahaku urged members of the M-CODe to be innovative and do things differently by holding leaders at all levels accountable to achieve the objectives of the Coalition.
He gave the assurance that the Regional Coordinating Council was prepared to work and support the Coalition in its activities to succeed.