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Wa East records high cases of Open Defecation

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The Wa East District remains one of the areas in the Upper West region which has consistently recorded high cases of Open Defecation.
This has led to the district securing undesirable rankings on the District League Table (DLT) since its inception.
In 2018 for example, the district was placed 8th out of the 11 Districts and Municipalities in the Upper west Region.
This year, the District fell further to the 9th position signifying an increase in cases of Open Defecation (OD) and a reduction in access to Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) facilities.
At the 7th Meet the Press Series at the Wa East District capital, Funsi, the DCE for the area, Moses Jotie admitted that the district has been performing poorly with regards to sanitation. He said although enough strides are being made with regards to access to safe drinking water, sanitation remains an issue.

DCE, Wa East, Moses Jotie

To help remedy the situation momentarily, six institutional toilets are being constructed in different parts of the district with funding from the Ministry of Special Development.
Mr. Jotie mentioned that additionally, the Assembly has begun educating residents on the need to build their own toilet facilities to reduce Open Defecation.
Speaking to GBC’s Mark Smith, the Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for Environmental Health Services, Alhasssan Inusah Agambire blamed the continuous poor performance of the Wa East District on leadership of the District Assembly.
Mr. Inusah Agambire said the leadership must stop paying lip service in the fight against Open Defection.
He said the Assembly must be ready to commit more time and resources to fund the activities of Environmental Health Officers.
The M&E Officer said when the MMDCEs themselves across the region led team to the communities to engage with the residents on why they should stop Open Defecation, they are more receptive, an avenue he believes they MMDCEs must take advantage of.
“DCEs should be able to move to the field to look at what officers are doing. That will inspire officers to perform better and that will also inspire communities to also to think that the DCE care about what they are doing when it comes to sanitation,” he explained.
Mr. Inusah Agambire said the establishment of semi-autonomous Sanitation Authorities across the country would be a more pragmatic approach to dealing with Open Defecation and other sanitation related offences at the community level.

He said when the Authorities are set up, they will educate community residents, monitor the progress of the communities and recommend punishments for the offenders.

He said the Authorities would also prevent misappropriation of funds by DAs.
The M&E Officer mentioned that there had been reported cases of misuse of funds donated by development partners to address WASH related activities.
Mr. Inusah Agambire encouraged households across the regions to construct their own toilet facilities.

Regional M&E Officer, Environmental Health Services. Alhassan Inusah Agambire

Story filed by Mark Smith

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