By: Peter Agengre
Denia-Yare community in the Talensi District in the Upper East Region and Fio-Sagnoya in the West Mamprusi District of the North East Region are the first two communities under the ICOWASH Project to become sanitized. They are also among the first four communities in Ghana to become sanitized communities. This was announced at Dabozesi during a World Toilet Day Celebration in the Mamprugu/Moagduri District of North East Region.
World Toilet Day is the day the entire world come together to reflect on the gains in sanitation, re-echo the importance of toilets in our lives and re-inspire collective action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. The day was observed with colourful traditional music and dance, cultural display and solidarity messages.
A lead initiator of the ceremony, the Catholic Relief Service CRS, has over the years mobilized local communities to end open defecation by creating and increasing investments in sanitation infrastructure. According to the Head of CRS Tamale Office Mr. Timothy Akanpabadai, about 4.5 billion people still live without safely managed sanitation resulting in the high prevalence of open defecation.
“Looking at the sanitation situation in the NorthEast Region, we might need to multiply our current efforts by over 10 times to be able to attain SDG six. It is our hope that the launch and publication of the league table will actually propel progress in sanitation improvement across the entire district and hasten District-Wide ODF attainment.” Mr. Akanpabadai noted.
Chief of the Dabozesi community, said sanitation was important for their own health. He maintained that, “I am ready to ensure that anybody who intends to put up an accommodation facility would also include a toilet facility.”
The District Chief Executive for Mamprugu/Moagduri, Mr. Abu Adam commended CRS for their enormous investments and contributions in improving WASH activities in the region. He called on the people of the area to show concern and desist from indiscriminate defecation which has the tendency of infecting their water bodies.
“If we ever needed a reason aside what we used to see to take our sanitation and hygiene seriously, the covid-19 has come with more than enough reason. The pandemic has come to underscore in a deadly and horrifying manner the need to sustain sanitation practices and good hygiene.” Mr. Adam concluded
CRS also gave out certificates and some inputs including wheelbarrows, shovels, pickaxes, and others to community group members who took part and performed creditably in a competition geared towards improvement of hygiene in their respective areas. They were categorized into electoral areas where a committee set up by the District observed how the various communities would manage their sanitation. Out of twelve electoral areas in the ODF league table, Sakpaba/Gbema Electoral Area came top with 82 marks while Kpatorigu and Zawara Electoral Areas had 2nd and 3rd positions respectively.