End Open Defecation by 2019 – Minister tells MMDAs

The Northern Regional Minister Hon. Salifu Sa-eed has charged all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the northern region to submit to his office their strategic plans for the fight against Open Defecation in the area. He was emphatic on this directive and said all the 26 MMDCEs must comply with this before the end of January 2018.

This, the Minister noted will enable the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) to monitor their plans and roadmaps in the fight against the Open Defecation menace in the region. With this directive, it means all Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies in the area have a little over a month to provide their plans.

He believes this action if taken serious will win the fight and thereby end Open Defecation in the northern region. Mr. Salifu Sa-eed mentioned this directive in a speech read on his behalf by the Sagnarigu District Chief Executive, Hon Mariam Iddrisu at this year’s World Toilet Day celebration held at the Tamale Jubilee Park, Tuesday December 19, 2017.

November 19 each year is set aside to commemorate the World Toilet Day.

This is a day observed by the United Nations and for countries to undertake various advocacy and awareness raising activities to sensitize it’s citizenry for the need to own and use hygienic toilets at their homes. The commemoration of the World Toilet Day is annually observed on November 19. The theme for this year celebration is: “wastewater, where does your poo go”?

However, the Northern Regional Minister said that, the theme for this year couldn’t have come at a better time, considering the fact that, a vast majority of the population is still practicing Open Defecation or do not have access to improved toilet facilities at their homes.

He disclosed further that, sanitation challenges facing Ghana are fast becoming endemic, therefore the urgent need to decisively deal with them since they have socioeconomic and public health implications on the development of the country.

According to the Joint Monitoring Project (JMP) 2015 report, Ghana was adjudged the 7th dirtiest country in the world. “The Northern Region has a fair shear responsibility for the sanitation situation in the country since it is rated second highest of Open Defecation with 68% (DHS 2014 report) revealed” the minister added.

He however assured that the region will in pragmatic efforts to avoid being at the bottom of the sanitation ladder. “We will not continue to be at the bottom of the sanitation ladder. We have set to achieve 100% Open Defecation free (ODF) by the end of December 2019. This means we need to sit up and work harder to achieve this goal”. Mr. Sa-eed stated.

He also urged the people to develop interest in sanitation related issues especially, at the districts level since sanitation is a collective responsibility. The Regional Coordinating Council and all MMDAs in the northern region have set a target of being Open Defecation free region by the end of 2019.

 

story by: Mohammed Gadafi/Abdulai Abdul Rafiq _ northstarfmonline.com

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