Sissala East ODF plan and regional CLTS table league has been launched in the Upper West Region on the 27th of November, 2018 as part of steps to end open defecation in the region and for that Ghana by 2021.
The government of Ghana and UNICEF are currently implementing a programme to increase sustainable access to improved sanitation as part of the GOG/UNICEF WASH programme in five most deprived regions in Ghana. As part of the initiative to achieve a country wide ODF by 2025, all MMDA`s are expected to develop their own ODF plans.
In view of this, the Upper West Region led by the Regional Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate with support from UNICEF has initiated a process of developing a regional ODF plan which outlines strategies to achieve a region wide ODF by 2021.
During a one day workshop to discuss and make inputs into the draft regional ODF plan for finalization and official launching of the CLTS league table, Madam Naatu Freda the Acting Regional Environmental Health Officer in a welcome address and objective of the program expressed that, the meeting is to discussed issues that will help to eradicate open defecation in the region, and to know in the eleven districts and municipalities of the region who has done what and the way forward in order to achieve this aim. Madam Naatu added that, upper west has 1,167 communities since the implementation of CLTS in 2012 out of which the region is able the achieve ODF in 531 communities; from 2012 to 2018.
She further disclosed that, the regional minister has made it that by 2019 Upper West should be ODF, but looking at how the region has worked and what is still expected the question one should ask is that what should I do in order for us to achieve this aim. Madam Freda however stated that, even though the minister mentioned that ODF should be achieved in 2019, but the sanitation committee came together and realized that, what is done so far is very little therefore the have shifted it to 2021 instead of 2019 in order to accomplish this ambition in region, despite the bad road network in the region, inadequate commitments by assemblies, inadequate resources and many others, she indicated.
The Upper West Deputy Regional Minister Hon. Amidu Chinniah Issahaku in an address and launching of the ODF league table on behalf of the regional minister expressed that, he is very content base on the organization of this programme, this he recommended UNICEF and its developing partners for emerging with the wash programme as well as MMDA`s.
Hon Amidu Chinniah further unveiled that, behavior change and inaccessibility to improve sanitation facilities has over the years being the contributors to these challenges in the country. He continued that, most houses in the rural areas have no access to basic sanitation and hygiene facilities.
Mr. Issahaku Chinniah also stated that, for the need to achieve open defecation in the various districts and municipalities bye-laws should be enacted in the aspect of sanitation to guide the behaviors of people, he also appealed to traditional rulers to assist by sensitizing their people, this according to him, they are the custodians of our culture, our lands and people respect them much, this he believe that if their voices are added the aim of ending open defecation by 2021 would come to fruition.