STAKEHOLDERS CONVERGE ON POOR SANITATION ISSUES IN THE UPPER WEST REGION

UNICEF has praised the Upper West Region for working relentlessly towards achieving an open defecation free as a region by December, 2017.

The prevalence of open defecation in the region dropped dramatically from seventy-one per cent in 2011 to forty-nine per cent in 2014.

A Water and Sanitation Hygiene, WASH Specialist with the UNICEF office in Tamale, Osman Mumuni who expressed the sentiment at a regional consultative meeting at Wa recommended a scaling up to ensure a hundred per cent coverage by 2017.

Sanitation issues nationally do not look very encouraging as Ghana ranks 7th on the globe and only beats South Sudan on the middle income countries map on sanitation.
Mr Osman Mumuni says at the pace Ghana combating sanitation issue, it might take 500 years to achieve a hundred per cent rate.

He noted that although some regions like Upper West are making significant strides, the others like Northern and Upper East Regions who are currently recording sixty-seven point six and seventy-four point seven will have to restructure their efforts.

The Chief WASH officer for UNICEF at Tamale, Tamene Gossa highlighted seven core areas within which UNICEF is assisting Ghana under the WASH initiative.
They include hand washing with soap at household and institutional levels and a 100% access to water nationwide.

The Upper West Regional Coordinating Director, John Atubiga who was not happy about the figures outlined some measures to scale up efforts. He listed among other things as honouring of practitioners of good sanitation as well as sensitising people on the need to do away with negative cultural practices like open defecation.

 

Savanna Diaries/Lydia Darlington Fordjour, Wa

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