531 Certified Open Defecation Free Communities in the UW Region.

Stakeholders on the need to achieve ending open defecation in the Upper West Region last week launched the Regional League Table on the Open Defecation Free for the region at SEM-B lodge in Wa.

The gathering hosted Traditional Rulers, MMDCEs, Coordinating Directors, Environmental Health Officers and other champions of ODF.

The league is supported by UNICEF and other implementation agencies and covers all eleven districts in the region. Nandom, Wa west and Daffiama/Bussie/IssaI Assemblies are the top three while Sissala East, Jirapa and Wa Assemblies at the bottom of the table.

On the table, it was disclosed that out of the total of 1,167 communities in the region by 1st November this year, only 531 of them had attained ODF status. This represent 45.5 percent of the total population.

The ceremony also created the opportunity for best practice to be shared amongst the various Assemblies to better achieve the desired target for an ODF region.

This feat may however be the biggest challenge to succeed as five assemblies could not make a 50 percent coverage with the Nadowli and Wa Assemblies scoring just 19 percent at the bottom of the scorecard.

Of about a total population of 689,160 only 23,137 Household Latrines serve the huge number of people in the region with only 148,902 living in ODF communities, and scored 21.6 percent of the total population.

The Deputy Regional Minister Hon Amidu Chinnia who represented the Regional Minister at the meeting, noted that the ODF league is aimed at improving transparency and accountability in the regional development through sanitation and improvement made where targeted support is needed.

He noted that issues of sanitation deserve utmost attention as commitment to duty and change of attitudes towards work by major stakeholders is very important in achieving a total ODF in the region.

Participants at the gathering were encouraged to emulate best ODF practice in achieving an ODF status from the districts that performed better on the league table.

Participants however called on the Assemblies to give the field officers the enabling environment to operate to achieve the national targets in our localities.

Some personalities and Assemblies also received some motivation in the form of rewords for their contributions to the successes chalked so far in ODF in the region.

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