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The Daffiama-Bussie-Issa (DBI) District of the Upper West Region has declared 78 communities Open Defecation Free (ODF), since the inception of the implementation of the Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) project in the district in 2012.

This implies that residents in 78 communities own and use their own latrines after they had been triggered by staff from the Environmental Health and Sanitation Department under the UNICEF funded CLTS project, which was being implemented in conjunction with the government.

The figure represents 74 percent of a total of 105 communities in the district, and this achievement has seen the district being marked as one of the potential areas to be declared district-wide ODF in the region.

The District Chief Executive (DCE) for the DBI, Mr. NadiImoro Sanda, made this known when the district took its turn to meet with the media personnel in the region to interact with them on the development of the area

“This achievement was not attained on a silver platter. We had to put our individual efforts together and partner the environmental health officers to do their community monitoring, such that the people would know how strict we are about the construction, usage and maintenance of a household latrine ,” he said.

The DCE said the district authorities together with local rulers would leave no stone unturned in encouraging the communities to work in tandem with the environmental officers and also formulate by-laws to check recalcitrant community members whose activities would become inimical to the good sanitation practices they sought to pursue.

Touching on health, the DCE indicated that the assembly had through the District Development and District Assemblies’ Common Funds procured a medical laboratory, operating theatre, male and female wards and a doctor’s bungalow for the Issah Health Centre, which were at different stages of construction, to boost healthcare delivery and also reduce the number of referrals from the district.

These facilities, he stated, were being provided for the health centre in order to upgrade it to a district hospital which is absent in the area, adding that, “Currently, we patronize the hospital at Nadowli and so we are working at securing one in DBI.”

“Health is a very critical area, so in order to ensure good health and a sound body, we are working assiduously to fill the infrastructure gap as much as we can. A Community-based Health Planning Services (CHPS) compound being constructed for the Pulbaa community is 80 per cent complete with funding from the Northern Development Agency, and we hope to construct same facilities for the Jempensi, Owlo, Jolinyiri and Wogu communities,” he outlined.

By Wendy Amarteifio

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