Debidebi is a village in the Kpando Municipality of the Volta Region, where no one has died over the past three years.

As was reported by the Times yesterday, the community of 450 inhabitants, among them 100 children, has also not recorded even a single case of malaria, cholera or diarrhoea within the past two years.

This amazing feat has been achieved because the inhabitants have maintained a high sense of environmental cleanliness.

It is also no less true that the people, predominantly fishermen and fishmongers, live well above 80 years.

No doubt, this is a classic case of a people committed to environmental cleanliness, and by it, the prevention of diseases in the community.

This phenomenal success has been achieved through the communal commitment not to defeacate in open places, and the provision of toilets in almost every household.

The Debidebi example is worth emulating, since it took the discipline and commitment of the people to attain the feat.

It did not involve any huge resources and elaborate waste management programmes, to achieve it.

The success story of Debidebi must be told to all communities in Ghana, as a means to preventing deaths through basic environmental hygiene and cleanliness.

We recall that hundreds of people in various communities across the country in the recent past, died of cholera mainly due to unhygienic conditions.

Had we lived by Debidebi’s example, it is most likely many lives would have been saved.

It is obvious that without effective waste management and discipline, citizens are at risk of contracting diseases and subsequently dying.

Studies show that good hygienic practices prevent such diseases as cholera and diarrhoea, while uncontrolled sanitation is a public health challenge, and a major cause of deaths.

It is, therefore, important that as the population increases, and sanitation and cleanliness become ever difficult to manage, self-disciplinary measures be adopted to prevent diseases and deaths.

We commend the people of Debidebi, and recommend that their success story be told nationwide, to show that it can be done.

It is our hope that Debidebi’s success story would not be taken for granted, in the face of the filth and unhygienic conditions across the country.

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