The Chief and people of Pelungu in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region have celebrated their annual ‘Yagle Kuure’ festival with a call to end open defecation.
The Chief, Naab Sierig Soore Sobil IV, has for the past two years continued to pursue his goal of ending open defecation in the community by using funds generated from the annual festival to construct a 20-seater public toilet facility for the Pelungu market.
Speaking at the celebration on the theme: “Ending open defecation, protecting our dignity and ensuring a healthier life,” Naab Sierig said the decision to start the construction of the toilet facility was based on the absence of such a facility in the market for traders.
He said, “When I became chief of this community, the sanitation situation here in Pelungu became a source of worry to me. I realized that poor sanitation especially in our market did not present a good image of our community to strangers.
“Also, our women were exposed anytime they needed to attend to nature’s call while they were doing their business activities in the market.
Therefore, together with my elders, we agreed it will be prudent to mobilize our resources through the festival, to begin constructing a toilet facility and this was what we did with the first Annual ‘Yagle Kuure’ Festival.”
The self-help initiative started during the first edition of the festival in 2018 and two years down the line, the construction of the 20-seater public toilet facility is at the window level.
Naab Sierig said the community’s goal of having the toilet completed would not be abandoned until the project is completed and put into use.
“We are hoping that after today, we will be able to finally complete this project and commission it either before or during our next ‘Yagle Kuure’ festival at the end of the year,” he said.
The ‘Yagle Kuure’ is a festival celebrated to mark the end of the farming season and to give thanks to God for a good harvest.
The festival is celebrated every year to foster unity, celebrate culture and create an opportunity for the people of Pelungu to discuss development projects.
The chief used the occasion to acknowledge Mr Paul Wooma, the Upper East Regional Manager of the Ghana Red Cross Society and a native of Nabdam, for his efforts to end open defecation in the community.
“Mr Paul Wooma, through his organization’s COVID-19 facility, drilled a borehole which will be mechanized, to support not only our agenda of ending open defecation but also to provide water for the people in this part of Pelungu,” he said.
Among the dignitaries who graced the occasion was the Member of Parliament for Nabdam, Dr Mark Kurt Nawaane who pledged support for the completion of the toilet facility and also called on benevolent individuals and organisations to support the project.