Statistics from the Upper West Regional Environmental Health and Sanitation Department point out that as at the 17th October 2018, 526 communities in Upper West have been declared open defecation free (ODF).
The number works to 45 % of the entire one thousand, 167 communities in the Upper West Region.
The data was shared a media briefing organized by the Regional Inter-agency Coordinating Committee on Sanitation in partnership with Netherlands Development Organisation, SNV.
GBCs correspondent, Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo reports that the briefing session was to update the media on the progress of the Nandom District-wide open defecation free (ODF) achievement targets in respect of the Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) Project.
The Nandom District with support from the Netherlands Development Organisation, SNV is pushing the bar high to be declared the first ever ODF District across the country.
The District is equally making waves in the Upper West Region as the leader in ODF initiative.
The Country Program Coordinator of SNV/V4CP, Eric Banye told the gathering that: Our presence here is to basically take stock of what we have been doing in Nandom in terms of ODF verification”.
He said the essence of todays program is basically to review one of the WASH activity that we have been doing over the past few years and we are excited to share this particular story with you, because we feel it is worth sharing for other districts to emulate [the Nandom example].
Mr. Banye added that globally, SNV is working in 38 countries building institutional capacity to ensure that development is sustainable.
The Upper West Regional Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Monitoring & Evaluation (M & E) Cordinator, Alhassan Inusah Agambire gave a situational report stated that Upper West has 45% ODF coverage.
He announced that Wa Municipality has the least ODF coverage of 5%, saying out of the 86 communities in the Municipality, only four have attained ODF status.
Mr. Agambire added that Lawra has 63.8 % ODF coverage which is the second highest in Upper West after Nandom which is in the comfortable lead with 96%.
The SNV WASH Advisor, Ms. Theresa Swanzy-Baffoe indicated that from 2014 to 2018, the Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) Project was implemented in eight districts across four regions.
For Volta, it was in the Jasikan District with that of the Central taking place in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) Municipality.
In the Northern Region, Nanumba South, East Gonja, Saboba and Chereponi played host to the project. Nandom and Lawra were the implementing Districts in Upper West.
The SNV WASH Advisor pointed out that over the four years, 76 community led total sanitation (CLTS) facilitators and 80 latrine artisan were trained.
She said more than one thousand natural leaders acquired skills to support the implementation of the CLTS at the community level.
Ms. Swanzy-Baffoe commended Nandom for the strides it has made in achieving 96% ODF as September2018 and reiterated SNVs commitment to partnering Nandom to attain a sustainable ODF status.
She recalled that Nandom District in 2014 had an ODF coverage of 47% and that by March 2018, the coverage had risen to 91% and praised all stakeholders for the good job done.
The Nandom District Environmental Health Officer, Sabogu Jerry Yakub indicated that the enviable strides made by his district came as a result of the commitment from all the project partners with SNV playing the lead role.
Story by Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo