The Upper West Regional Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee on Sanitation (RICCS) has extended the campaign to end Open Defecation (OD) to churches as part of its activities to ensure an Open Defecation Free (ODF) society.
The RICCS was at the central church of the Deeper Life Bible Church in Wa last Sunday to sensitize worshipers on the need to stop defecating in the open.
It was represented by Mr Nurrudeen Mummuni, National Commission for Civic Education, Mr Harrison Okoto, Department of Community Development and Julius Dudimah, Information Services Department.
Mr Mummuni stressed the significance of having household latrines and said Open Defecation was against dictates of the Holy Bible as was championed by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Open Defecation and other sanitation related issues became a matter of global concern with the institution of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) enjoining member states that were signatory to the goals to, among other things, end Open Defecation by 2030.
In view of this, the Upper West Region has set 2021 to end Open Defecation with the Campaign led by RICCS and the Regional Environmental Health and Sanitation Department.
Mr Mummuni explained that the Holy Bible upheld cleanliness and said as Christians they should not go contrary to the teachings of the Bible.
He quoted II Corinthians 7:1 which read, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God”.
Therefore, he said stopping open defecation would be in fulfillment of this scripture.
Mr Mummuni noted that Open Defecation and other insanitary practices were detrimental to their health as it could result in sanitation related ailments such as cholera, and entreated the people to inculcate the habit of hand washing with soap under clean running water any time after visiting the toilet and before they ate.
The Upper West Regional Overseer of the Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor Bagaaniah K. Emmanuel, commended the team for taking the initiative to visit the church to sensitize the congregation on good hygiene practices.
He said it was inappropriate to defecate in the open and urged the congregation to take the message seriously in order to improve on their health.
He also entreated the authorities, especially, Municipal and District Assemblies, to put in place drastic measures, including; enacting by-laws on OD to force the people to comply with the move to end the menace.
He appealed to the team to scale up the sensitization drive to ensure that public places such as the hospitals had toilet facilities.