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Nandom cruising to achieve 100% ODF by close of 2018

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The Nandon District which is poised to become the first District in Ghana to achieve 100 % open defecation free (ODF) on Monday, November 19, 2018 joined the global community to celebrate the World Toilet Day.

At a durbar to mark the day at the District Assembly in Nandom, a play was acted to drum home the necessity for households to own toilets to safeguard their health.

The DCE for Nandom, Thaddeus Arkum Aasoglenang who affirmed his Districts commitment to attain 100% ODF by the end of December this year said a number of steps have been taken to achieve the target including the passage of by-laws slated for  December 5, 2018.

Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo reports that the play drew a lot of laughter as well as applause and the last leg of it which was a dance, turned into a mass-dance session with the DCE and other dignitaries also joining spontaneously to exhibit their dancing skills.

Mr. Aasoglenang announced that the Assembly, will at its next General sitting slated for  December 5, 2018 pass by-laws to ensure standardized sanitation practices.

The Assembly has equally identified 303 households without toilets and has written to the landlords to take action the DCE indicated.

He stressed the importance for all interested parties to encourage behavioral change and end open defecation which is deemed extremely harmful to public health.

Statistics show that globally, we have 4.5 billion people living without safe toilets whilst 892 million people practice open defecation with 1.8 billion people using a drinking source that could be contaminated.

Mr. Aasoglegnang observed that Nandom is getting eight standard water closet toilets under the Implementation of the Poverty Eradication Project and added that a site has been handed over to a contractor for two small town water systems at Guo-Tuopare and Ko-Zimuopare under the World Banks Sustainable Rural Water Project.

The DCE said: SNV massively supported us to achieve 91% ODF and once again through its support, we have been able to move the district from 91% ODF in July to 96% in October, 2018 making Nandom District the lead District in ODF in Ghana now.

As part of efforts, a six-member sanitation Ambassadors team made of chiefs was formed to ensure this achievement.”

Mr. Aasoglenang thanked the Netherlands Development Organisation, SNV and Nandom Traditional Council for their support towards the ODF efforts.

The DCE appealed to the Ministry of Water and Sanitation, the World Bank and the European Union (EU) among others to support SNV with logistics to enable it to continue with the good work in Nandom and other deprived Districts in Ghana.

The Program Coordinator of SNV/V4CP, Eric Banye was excited about the play acted on the need to have household toilets.

He said: “I think for me and my team mates from SNV, we really enjoyed the play and for the fact that [Kundewullu] community and the household wasted five million Cedis to go to the hospital, we are promising to give the five million Cedis [500 Ghana Cedis] back to the group but we expect that when we come to Kundewullu, we will see to the toilet facility there”

The WASH Advisor of SNV/V4CP, Theresa Swanzy-Baffoe said the World Toilet Day is about inspiring action to tackle global sanitation crisis.

According to her, It is important that we construct latrines for our own health, saying, owing a latrine also brings dignity.

Ms. Swanzy-Baffoe posed a question: Imagine being bitten by a snake whilst defecating in the bush?” She therefore encouraged all of us to construct latrines and uphold proper hand-washing practices to safe guard our health. Ms. Swanzy-Baffoe stated that: We at SNV believe the task of access to sanitation does not end at [with] owning a latrine but how to safely manage the usage of the latrine.”

The Assistant Environmental Health Analyst of the Upper West Regional Environmental Health Office, Dominic Tugpiel appealed to the remaining four communities in the Nandom District which yet to achieve ODF to redouble their efforts to enable the District to attain its 100% ODF target the end December, 2018 as planned.

The Chief Ko, Naa Domepeeh Gyereh was very happy about how the Environmental Health Unit of the District Assembly has collaborated with the Nandom Traditional Council on the ODF project.

The Assembly used the occasion present a motor bike to the District Environmental Health Unit.

The Turbogru group which acted a play on the importance of household toilets


Story by Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo

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