Nandom attains Open Defecation Free status

The Nandom District in the Upper West Region has become the first in the country to attain Open Defecation Free (ODF) status with every household owning and using a latrine in the area

Recording a 100 per cent ODF coverage, Nandom maintained its sanitation glory by placing first, once again, on the regional sanitation league table released at Wa on Monday.

Wa Municipality placed last again on the sanitation league table which included all municipal and district assemblies (MDAs) in the region.

Since the inception of the league table, the Wa Municipality had always been amongst the last three MDAs in the region whereas its counterpart, Nandom District had always made to the first position, hinging improved sanitation practices amongst its residents.

Wa had only declared five of its 86 communities ODF at the end of May, 2019, indicating that many of its residents were practicing open defecation.

The Daffaima/Issie/Bussie, Lambussie and Nadowli Kaleo districts have been marked as the districts that could attain district-wide ODF in the shortest possible time whereas the Wa Municipal, Wa East and Sissala East districts would need more efforts to be able to move from the last three positions on the table.

The Municipal Chief Executive for Wa, Issahaku Tahiru, who launched the table at meeting at Wa, said he was going to collaborate with the environmental health staff to ensure that they embarked on massive ODF campaign to tackle the issue in the regional capital.

“This is not good for the Wa Municipality, however, we will strategise to ensure that we move up the ladder because this is also about our health as a people,” he stated.

The Acting Regional Environmental Health Officer, Ms Rita Kamena, said with the support of the political and administrative heads of the districts, the quest to attain good sanitation practices would be easier for officers who toured communities to propagate good sanitation.

In a speech read on his behalf, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, the Upper West Regional Minister, noted that attaining improved sanitation condition hinged on attitudinal change and determination to do what was right.

“Governments and development partners all over the years have contributed enough capital and resources to fighting poor sanitation in Ghana but the evil persists because the citizens have still not changed their negative attitude towards sanitation,” he stated.

“I am reliably informed that the Environmental Health and Sanitation Department and its partners are working in 1,167 communities across the region and as we speak 56.6 per cent, representing 661 communities have been declared ODF since the year 2010 to date.

“As a region, we still have a deficit of 506 communities to declare ODF; and the region-wide ODF target is by the end of year 2021. My question to all of us gathered here today is, what is the way forward to achieving this target we have set for ourselves by 2021?” Dr Salih asked, and said the launching of the table would trigger non performing MDAs to improve on their performance.

The minister commended Nandom District for the sanitation glory it had earned for the region and charged other districts to emulate same.

Lydia Darlington Fordjour, Wa

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