The Upper West Regional Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee on Sanitation (RICCS) has called on District, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies (MMDAs) to be committed to the fight against Open Defecation.
The commitment of MMDAs to reducing Open Defecation in their respective districts was necessary to ensure that Ghana met the Sustainable Development Goal target on Open Defecation and sanitation in general.
Mr Alhassan Inusah Agambire, Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator of the Upper West Regional Environmental Health and Sanitation Department said the department would hold a high level stakeholder engagement with the new District Chief Executives on Open Defecation to empower them to take up the challenges associated with the menace.
Mr Agambire made the call at the second quarter meeting of the RICCS at Wa.
He also explained that the department would also conduct district performance review in the districts as part of some other initiatives to empower DCEs to champion the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) campaign.
Mr Agambire also explained that in the CLTS programme, 35 communities were declared ODF between January and May this year bringing up to a total of 379 ODF communities out of 1167 communities in the region.
He observed that 56 of the 100 communities in which the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) funded Disaster Prone Communities (DPC) project was being implemented met the status of Open Defecation Free (ODF).
He said out of the 56 communities in Nadowli/Kaleo and Sissala West Districts both recorded 10 ODF communities, Nandom District eight, Jirapa District seven, Wa West District seven, Daffiama/Bussie/Issah District six, Lawra District five, and Wa East District three ODF communities while Sissala East District recorded no ODF community in the DPC project.
The project, he explained, was aimed at supporting households in hundred communities to meet the status of (ODF) but noted that the programme had ended.
Mr Melvin Tagoe, the Acting Upper West Regional Director of Community Water and Sanitation Agency said to improve sanitation in the region, the Agency with support from UNICEF was constructing 106 latrines in the Wa West, Wa East, Daffiama/Bussie/Issah, Sissala East, Sissala West and Jirapa Districts.
He explained that 78 out of the 106 latrines had been completed and handed over, while the remaining 28 were at various stages of completion.
He lamented that some community members had been defecating around water sources and urged community leaders to regularly send their water sample to the laboratory to be tested to ensure that their household water was wholesome for consumption.