Tackling Open Defecation demands holistic approach

Accra- Mr Patrick Boamah, Deputy Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, on Wednesday said tackling Open Defaecation (ODF) menace is not the responsibility of government alone, but needs a collective effort of all stakeholders and citizens.

Tackling ODF should be seen as a collective responsibility by every citizen, every household, institutions, work places, and public places should have toilets, he said.

Mr Boamah stated at an ODF Ghana Campaign award ceremony and exhibition organised in Accra to drive the Ghana Goes Open Defecation Free (ODF) sensitization.

The campaign is jointly supported by the Governments of Ghana and Canada, UNICEF, the Netherlands, World Bank, Ghana Health Service, Water Aid, and Media Coalition Against Open Defecation (M-CODe).

Others include; SNV, Environmental Service Providers Association, Local government services, Global Communities Partners for Good, World Vision, Plan International, other partner institutions and individual volunteers.

The Deputy Minister said the Agenda formed part of the Sustainable Development Goal 6. 2 which required that; by 2030, all should achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene to end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations.

He said the campaign equally provided economic opportunities to artisans across the country.

Statistics indicate that about 1,000 of them have benefitted from the project through the construction of household and community toilets across the country under the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI).

Mr Boamah lauded the Church of Pentecost for building a toilet facility for a Police Post in Tatale District and encouraged others to emulate the initiative.

Nana Kobina Nketia V, Paramount Chief of Essikado Traditional Area who chaired the event, said the problem of Open Defecation is not Ghanaian or African but required that all get onboard to deal with the shame and menace in the communities.

He said it was not natural for any individual to cloth themselves in filth and the effects of such practices affected all within the Ghanaian community whether directly or indirectly.

He advised that all should take particular interest in the fight because the flies in the wind knew no boundaries.

Mr Ronald Strikker, Netherlands’ Ambassador to Ghana said the Netherlands was happy to be part of the project and had in the past two years through its WASH programme and partnership with the UNICEF provided some 23,000 household toilets within some municipalities mainly in Ashaiman and Tamale.

He commended the efforts of the Municipal Chief Executives of Ashaiman in the Greater Accra Region, Tamale in the Northern Region and Ho in the Volta Region for ensuring that andlords living within their communities have toilets in their households thereby reducing Open Defecation.

Source: Ghana News Agency