The Upper West Regional Inter-coordinating Committee on Sanitation (RICCS) of Environmental Health Science in a bid to end open defecation has held a stakeholder meeting to discuss measures towards achieving Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.

As part of Ghana’s bid to attain ODF status by 2020, RICCS urged stakeholders to work hard towards ensuring the complete eradication of open defecation in the Region by the extended period from 2019 to 2021 due to financial and time constraints.

Mr Gilbert Nuuri-Teg, the Chief Director of Upper West Regional Coordinating Council, urged stakeholders to tackle the challenge with seriousness because of its grave health implications.
“Wa is the heart of the region but open defecation is rampant here even more than the rural communities” he said.

Mr Mohammed Mwinelono, a representative of ProNet Ghana, a local NGO, has constructed a toilet and mechanised borehole facilities each in Bulsa and Charia health centres in the Wa Municipal Assembly and Daffiama Busie Issah Districts respectively.

He said the organisation is also engaging religious institutions, schools, youth groups, Civil Society Organizations individuals as well as other stakeholders in a sensitization campaign against open defecation and other best sanitation practices.

Mr Samuel Adjei Nimoh, a member of RICCS, said the Committee was given a budget of 15.1 million cedis between 2019-2021 by government and UNICEF but they have so far achieved 590 ODF communities out of 1,167 communities in Upper West with Nandom as the only district that has achieved ODF status pending Certification from the Ministry of Health.

The 2018 Upper West Regional ODF league table indicates that Nadowli-Kaleo District was placed on the fifth position but improved significantly to overtake Wa West, Daffiama Busie Issah and Lawra from the second, third and fourth positions respectively, to be on the second position.

The committee said as part of measures to eradicate open defecation it has agreed to introduce inter-quiz competitions on open defecation to schools; launch ODF campaign to religious leaders, households and institutions and exchange OD and ODF community visits.

It also agreed to set up a sanitation task force to arrest law lawbreakers, enact community rules and regulations against open defecation as well as encourage the public to construct bio field digester latrines in their homes.



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