Campaign Against Open Defecation Launched in Ho
The International Children’s Education Fund (Unicef) is partnering with the Ghana and Canadian governments to champion a public sensitization campaign geared towards creating awareness on the ills of open public defecation.
The campaign, dubbed ‘Ghana Deserves Better, Stop Open Defecation Now,’ was launched Tuesday, December 5, 2017, at the GNAT Hall in the Volta Regional capital, Ho, and drew stakeholders from the various MMDAs, Religious and Civil society Organizations, the Media, NGOs, Traditional authorities, Educational and Health institutions, among others.
As a further boost, the programme was duly endorsed by the Volta Regional House of Chiefs. Representing the Regional House of Chiefs, the paramount chief of the Saviefe Traditional Area, Torgbe Adanu Sakrafo X, indicated the preparedness of the Regional House of Chiefs to support the campaign in all capacities possible.
He reminded his fellow traditional rulers of their singular and crucial role in ensuring strict enforcement of and compliance with the anti-open defecation campaign, adding that traditional rulers owe a duty to their citizens to sensitize their communities on the dangers that accompany such practices.
“We the chiefs and paramount chiefs of the Volta Region do declare our unflinching support for the fight against open defecation in the region. We will play our part to ensure that our region is declared free from open defecation. By this call we want every citizen of the Volta region to know that open defecation is a sacrilege against our gods and customs, and so everyone must stop it immediately.
Every landlord should construct their own toilet since we cannot bear the shame of being labeled as a people who defecate more in the bush than any other people in Ghana. We further entreat all chiefs in our jurisdiction to support the work of case officers to get their communities to attain open defecation-free status,” he said.
“I want to implore the Ministry of Sanitation to team up with the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to go into all communities to propagate this message, because the NCCE has offices in almost all regions and all communities in the country. And so if we do this, it will help all communities to know that open defecation is a bad practice,” he added.
Delivering the Keynote Address for the occasion, the Deputy Volta Regional Minister, Hon. Maxwell Kofi Blagogee, noted that “the theme is very appropriate and timely since Ghana was recently ranked among the lowest-performing groups in sanitation in Africa. Sanitation, as we all know, is a shared responsibility.
It is a way of life which, when inculcated in the people, leads to a healthy living lifestyle. Sanitation in the developing world is a challenging one. The United Nations Millennium Development Goals MDGs included targets to reduce by half the population of people without access to basic sanitation by 2015, but here we are in 2017 with no signi9ficanbt improvement.”
“I have been reliably informed that before 2016, there were 739 triggered communities out of which 42 were declared Open Defecation Free (ODF). However, in 2016, a cumulative of 790 communities was triggered, and by the close of 2016, the programme achieved ODF in 108 communities. Compared to the year before, it is an achievement worth commending. Notwithstanding this achievement, I wish to state that as a region, we still have a long way to go,” he added.
Per available research, the Kadjebi District ranked first on the District ODF League Table with 38%. This is followed by neighbouring Jasikan District with 26%. Nkwanta North came third with 25%, followed by Kpando with 19%. The Adaklu District ranked fifth with 13% ODF. The rest are Afadjato south (12%), followed by Hohoe (11%), Nkwanta South (9%), South Dayi (8%), Ho West (5%), Ho (5%), Akatsi North (5%), Biakoye (5%), Keta (4%), Krachi East (4%), North Dayi (4%), Agortime Ziope (4%), Ketu North (3%), Akatsi South (3%) , Ketu South (1%) Krachi West (0%), Krachi Nchumuru (0%), North Tongu (0%), South Tongu (0%), and Central Tongu (0%).