NR Set Date For End To Open Defecation

The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Yendi, Mr. Hammed A. Yussif, has announced a 31st December 2019, for the end of open defecation in the Northern Region.

He made the announcement during this year’s national sanitation expo launched in Yendi, during which he said the Yendi Municipal Assembly targets ending it by 30th November, 2019.

“As an assembly and with support from the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), we have implemented and continue to implement various activities such as Community Led Total Sanitation(CLTS), social norms advocacy initiatives and strategies including sanitation marketing (SANMARK) among others, to changing the behavior of people.”

The MCE said there was the need to enforce the bye-laws of the Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts (MMDAs) to their logistical conclusion; and encourage the Environmental Health Units of all assemblies not to hesitate to prosecute all sanitation offenders in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

He called on landlords to endeavor to include toilet facilities in their plans when they are putting up buildings.

“The Spatial Planning Committees and the Technical Sub-Committees of the various MMDAs should ensure that all building plans have toilet facilities in the plan before the building permits are issued.”

A survey conducted by UNICEF and the World Bank in 2018 shows that only 12 per cent of households in Northern Ghana have access to toilet facilities.

The survey again revealed that 48 per cent of Ghanaians practice hand washing with soup.

It is estimated that 842,000 people die annually from sanitation related diseases.

In Ghana, statistics also show that only 21 per cent of Ghanaians have access to improved household latrines, where as the remaining 79 per cent defecate in the open.

A regional and district sanitation league table has been established to access performance of MMDAs in the fight against sanitation related issues in the region.

FROM Eric Kombat, Yendi