This year’s World Toilet Day has been commemorated at Yendi in the Northern Region with a call on residents to construct household toilets to improve sanitation in the area.
It was organised by Global Communities, which delivers essential solutions to complex challenges, in partnership with Afram Plains Development Organisation, and funded by the United States Agency for International Development.
It was on the theme: “Making the Invisible Visible” and brought together various stakeholders and partner organisations.
World Toilet Day is commemorated annually on November 19 to inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crises and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goal-Six, which promises sanitation for all by 2030.
Various types of sanitation and toilet facilities were exhibited during the event, whilst some junior high school students, who competed in quizzes on sanitation and hygiene, were awarded products by the organisers.
Mr Alberto Wilde, the Country Director of Global Communities, whose speech was read on his behalf, said: “Since 2015, the Northern Region has been part of our target regions to implement sanitation related projects.”
“Seven years on, 94,272 out of a total of 192,000 people, who have access to improved sanitation at the household level, are from the Northern Region.”
He said 372 out of a total number of 900 communities declared open-defecation free were also from the region.
He said as part of the Enhancing WASH Activity being implemented by the Global Communities and partners, about 300,000 residents in the Northern, North East, Savannah, Upper East, Upper West and Oti Regions would gain access to basic sanitation services.
Mr Wilde emphasised the need for stakeholders to prioritise sanitation and hygiene to guarantee the health of the people.
Alhaji Shani Alhassan Shaibu, the Northern Regional Minister, whose speech was read on his behalf, said improper sanitation activities such as open defecation, poor management of human and animal excreta, as well as uncalculated digging of deep pits for latrine posed threats to groundwater.
He expressed the need for collaboration amongst relevant stakeholders to improve sanitation for all.
Alhaji Hammed Abubakar Yusuf, the Yendi Municipal Chief Executive, said the Assembly had promulgated bye-laws to make household latrines compulsory to ensure dignity for residents.
He noted that even though the Yendi Municipality was ranked first in the region in the open defecation free league table in 2021, several communities in the area were still practicing open defecation.
Ya-Na Abukari II, Overlord of Dagbon, who was represented at the event, pledged his support towards efforts to end open defecation in the region.