Minister calls for renew efforts towards WASH advocacy

By Philip Tengzu


The Upper West Regional Coordinating Council, through the Regional Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee on Sanitation, has launched the June 2019 edition of the Regional Open Defecation Free League Table which outlined success chalked in the campaign against Open Defecation.
The league table, the third of its kind, ranked all Municipalities and Districts according to their performance in eradicating OD to foster healthy competition among them in the fight against the menace.
The launch was on the theme: “Achieving district wide Open Defecation Free (ODF), the role of MMDA leadership”, and brought together various stakeholders in the sanitation sector.
In a speech read on his behalf at a ceremony to launch the league table, Dr Hafiz Bin-Salih, Upper West Regional Minister, explained that the league table was not to name and shame any district but to motivate them to put in more efforts towards realising the region wide ODF target by 2021.
‘It is my expectation that the league table will trigger non performing MMDAs to emulate the example of performing MMDAs and support the Environmental Health and Sanitation Units to achieve ODF status across the region”, the Minister noted.
The Regional League Table ranked Nandom District as the best performing district in eliminating ODF with all its 88 communities being ODF, followed by Lawra Municipal with 69 of 94 communities being ODF, Daffiama/Bussie/Issa, 78 of 105 communities being ODF, Nadowli/Kaleo, 103 of 141 communities being ODF and Wa West District with 156 out of 227 communities being ODF.
The rest were Lambussie District, 37 of 58 communities being ODF, Sissala West, 31 of 55 communities being ODF, Wa East 48 of 138 communities being ODF, Jirapa Municipal, 37 of 116 communities being ODF while Sissala East ten out of 59 and Wa Municipal five of 86 communities being ODF respectively.
Out of a total of 1167 communities in the region, 661 communities, representing 56.6 per cent, were ODF.
Dr Bin-Salih noted that the table was a social accountability tool that sought to assess the performance of the districts in eliminating OD and commended Nandom district for being the first district in the country to attain ODF status.
He thus urged the leadership and people of the district to sustain the gains and to forge towards a sanitise ODF status, adding that the pride of the success of the district transcended the Upper West Region to the national level.
He also gave the assurance that the RCC would continue to work and collaborate with stakeholders in the sanitation sector to achieve the needed results.

On his part, the Wa Municipal Chief Executive, Alhaji Issahaku Tahiru Moomin gave the assurance that despite the poor performance of his municipality ranking it at the bottom of the League Table, he would work to ensure that the Municipality attained an appreciable position by the end of the year.
“Because we know that the commitment of our president is to lead a clean country and we as his representatives at the various districts have also shared in his vision at least to make our districts the cleanest in the country.
I want to say once again that representing Wa Municipality and seeing where we are today, the assurance I want to give is that next time when we come here the results will be different…because as we speak now we have about 27 communities that are potential of being declared ODF”, the MCE assured.

Madam Rita Kamina, the Acting Upper West Regional Director of the Environmental Health and Sanitation Department, noted that the ODF League Table had been an effective tool in the ODF advocacy.
“We have every reason to continue with this strategy or tool because we have seen improved results since the last time when some MDAs who did not perform well have now improved very well”, Madam Kamina stated.
She urged stakeholders to take the league table very seriously to improve on district ownership of WASH interventions to improve the sanitation situation of their communities.
The MDAs pledged their commitment to scale up their activities to meet the districts and regional ODF target within the stipulated time.
Some deserving district and municipalities, journalists and media organisations were recognised and awarded with citations for their tremendous contribution to the success of the ODF campaign.

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