The Upper West Regional Environmental Health Department has, so far, declared 79 communities as Open Defecation Free (ODF) between January and August, this year.

With that performance, it looks unlikely that the Region would be able to meet its target of 326 communities for 2017.

Meanwhile, out of the 79 communities, Wa West District led with 20 communities, followed by Daffiama/Bussie/Issa District with 16, while Nadowli/Kaleo, Sissala West, Lambussie and Wa East districts all had nine each with Jirapa and Lawra districts recording four and three respectively.

Mr Alhassan Inusah Agambire, the Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator of the Upper West Regional Environmental Health and Sanitation Department, disclosed this during the Third Quarter Meeting of the Upper West Regional Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee on Sanitation (RICCS) in Wa.

He said issues such as broken-down hand washing facilities and latrines, coupled with poor latrine management practices, were identified during monitoring of some disaster-prone communities as part of the implementation of the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programme.

He said as part of measures to help ensure effective implementation of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Project at the District level, the Regional Environmental Health Department and other implementing partners were working to ensure that actors were committed to the implementation procedures.

Mr Agambiri noted that though the implementation of the project in the rainy season was very vital, challenges such as access to some communities by actors and collapse of pits made it difficult.

He called on stakeholders to support the efforts of community actors in the implementation of the CLTS.

He said the assemblies and district chief executives must own the projects and monitor them regularly to enhance performance.

Participants said embracing the CLTS concept demanded a change of attitude and that there was the need for collective efforts to ensure that the concept was accepted at the community level to help improve sanitation.

GNA

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