Nandom District reaches Open Defecation Free status

A woman washing her hands after visiting a toilet

A woman washing her hands after visiting a toilet

The Nandom District in the Upper West Region will soon be declared one of the first district assembly to obtain Open Defecation Free (ODF) status in the country.

This was made possible as the district attained 96 per cent coverage of household latrines in 84 communities as at September this year; implying that residents of 84 communities in Nandom owned and used household latrines as well as practised safe hand washing and proper hygiene.

The achievement was in line with the Upper West quest to achieve a region-wide ODF status by the end of December, 2019 as against a national target of December, 2020.

A programmes coordinator at SNV- a nongovernmental organisation, Ms Theresa Swanzy-Baffoe announced this at a media briefing at Wa on Friday.

The forum discussed progress on the implementation of the Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All project.

She explained that SNV was a Netherland development agency that was partnering the Government of Ghana in ensuring good sanitation in some districts of Ghana.

Ms Swanzy-Baffoe said although Ghana sought to become ODF by the end of 2020, the spate at which some districts were responding to the intervention was rather appalling.

“We have been working in Nandom and other districts in the country with the same institutional structures, same interventions, same officers and same funding sources but the success rates vary, implying that some districts are more committed to the course than others,” Ms Swanzy-Baffoe stated.

The coordinator explained that her outfit has put in place measures like training of field officers, community members and staff of the community development department of the district assembly to ensure sustainability after the donor withdraws its support.

The acting Regional Environmental Health Officer, Ms Freda Naatu hinted that the four remaining communities were at stages that would soon meet the protocol for declaring them ODF.

“Lawra Municipal is also following closely behind Nandom with 84 per cent coverage. The reason is that the four remaining communities of Nandom and the 16 per cent at Lawra are peri-urban where the rural sanitation modules are proving ineffective,” she stated.

She added that stakeholders would therefore embark on interventions like toilet subsidy for the urban poor and physically challenged.

Pix – A woman washing her hands after visiting a toilet

FROM LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, WA

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