No building permit will be issued to potential house owners, if their building plans do not have toilet facilities on them, the Municipal Chief Executive for Jirapa, Mrs Christine Bonbanye-Amadu has warned.
She added that old buildings without such facilities had been cautioned and given December 2020 next year to put in these structures or face prosecution.
Mrs Bonbanye-Amadu stated this during an event to mark the 2019 World Toilet Day celebration at Jirapa on Tuesday.
The assembly would also form a sanitation task force to enforce the sanitation bye laws and to sensitise residents on the need to maintain a clean environment.
Mrs Bonbanye-Amadu said Jirapa was selected for the event because it was one of the best performing assemblies in the implementation of the Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) project by development partners like the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in conjunction with the government of Ghana.
Out of 49 communities entered in the municipality in 2019, all of them had been declared open defecation free (ODF) this year and had emerged as one of the promising assemblies to be declared ODF after Nandom in Ghana, where every household in the communities owned, used and maintained household latrines.
She commended the CWSA for providing 90 Digni-Loo materials (plastic toilets) to the assembly for distribution to the very poor who were unable to construct toilet facilities, as encouragement for the campaign against open defecation.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Upper West Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, said the use of advocacy, education and enforcement of sanitation bye – laws was a more sustainable way of upholding sanitation in the communities.
“A toilet is not just a toilet, it is a life saver, dignity- protector and opportunity maker, whoever you are sanitation is your human right,” he said.
The Minister pointed out that, Ghana was one of the countries in sub Saharan Africa faced with open defecation, adding that, statistics show that only 21 per cent of Ghanaians have access to improved toilet facilities.
Dr Hafiz announced that, Wa East, Sissala East and Wa Municipal still had the highest population practising open defecation in the region, thereby placing last again on the new district sanitation league table.
“Government is also investing heavily in sanitation in its bid to make the country clean and healthy for all citizens. In this regard, a number of institutional toilets are being built across the region to ensure that the transit population has a place to defecate if the need arises,” he stated.
For her part, the Regional Environmental Health Officer, Freda Naatu, pleaded with chiefs, land lords and community members to own a toilet now and save their families from shame, rape, discomfort and gain respect in the communities.
FROM RAFIA ABDUL-RAZAK, JIRAPA