384 communities out of the 1167 in the upper west region have been declared Open Defecation Free by the Environmental Health and Sanitation Department. This figure represents 33% of the targeted communities for the Water, Sanitation and Health project sponsored by UNICEf in the region.
This was disclosed by Alhassan Inusah Agambire during a mid-year review of the project on Tuesday in Wa. According to him, the figure is a cumulative one from 2010-2017 and that the EHSD is working to ensure that more communities are declared ODF before the end of the project.
Mr. Agambire disclosed that, the department is targeting 180 communities for 2017 and that so far 77 communities have been declared ODF which represents 43% of the target. This he says is worrying since the donor agency has given them up to November to meet target. He said,” we have achieved 43% of the target but looking at where we are now coupled with the onset of the rains we may not meet our target before the November deadline”.
The monitoring and evaluation officer expressed worry at the penchant of landlords to build houses without places of convenience. He described it as bad and called for prosecution of offending landlords to serve as a deterrent to others.
One of the headaches for the Environmental Health and Sanitation Unit is the provision of toilet facilities in urban centers and that soon a new project dubbed Urban Community Led Total Sanitation to tackle the problem. This follows closely on the heels of calls by Deputy Upper West Regional Minister Issahaku Hamidu Chinnia for more efforts by assemblies to rid the area of open defecation.
Mr. Chinnia who was speaking at the first meeting of the Regional Coordinating Council said, it is worrying to see people defecate openly hence the need for stringent measures to tackle the problem.
By: Lansa Musah/boudaonline.wordpress.com