Nandom District leads ODF league table, Jirapa, Wa Municipals at the bottom
By: Philip Tengzu
The Nandom District in the Upper West Region has been ranked first on the 2018 Regional Open Defecation Free league table with 85 points while Jirapa and Wa municipals are at the bottom of the table with 19 points each.
The district, which had 84 of its 88 communities attaining ODF status, had been earmarked to be the first district in the country to attain ODF status after the Gurungu Area Council in the Wa West District was celebrated last week as the first Area Council in the country to attain ODF status.
The Wa West District came second on the league table with 72 point followed by Daffiama-Bussie Issa district, 66 points, Lawra Municipal, 65 points and Nadowli-Kaleo district, 60 points.
Others are Lambussie district, 56 points, Sissala West, 48 points, Wa East, 35 points while the 8th position was occupied by Sissala East Municipal with 23 points.
The Jirapa and Wa Municipalities performed abysmally on the 2017 league table by competing for the last positions and had maintained those positions on the 2018 league table.
This was revealed in Wa on Tuesday during a stakeholder consultation meeting to launch the 2018 Upper West Regional ODF league table as well as to sensitise the stakeholders to the newly proposed ODF Plan which was aimed at ensuring that the region attained ODF status by 2021.
Addressing participants at the meeting, the Deputy Upper West Regional Minster, Mr. Amidu Chinnia Iassahaku, appealed to the Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) in the region to, as a matter of urgency pass by-laws on sanitation to help end open defecation in the region.
He said open defecation was a canker that hampered development and urged all stakeholders to put all hands on the deck to ensure that it was nibbed in the bud.
Mr. Issahaku also entreated traditional leaders to collaborate effectively with the efforts of other stakeholders who were working tirelessly to end Open Defecation in their respective traditional jurisdictions.
He said the fight against Open Defecation must be viewed as a collective responsibility rather than that of the government alone and explained that poor sanitation practices posed serious health challenges to the people.
Mr. Issahaku appealed to every well-meaning Ghanaian to observe good sanitation practices including the construction of household latrines to enable them to stop defecating in the open.
The minister also noted that the fight against Open Defecation was hindered by poor leadership and gave the assurance that the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) would continue to collaborate with development partners such as UNICEF to achieve meaningful results in the sanitation sector.
For her part, the Acting Upper West Regional Environmental Health Officer, Madam Freda Natu, explained that out of a total of 1167 communities in the region, 531 had achieved ODF status.
She said her outfit had initiated an ODF plan with the objective to end open defecation by 2021 but regretted that poor road networks, lack of commitment on the part of DCEs and sanitation officers among others were some of the inherent challenges to the fight against Open Defecation.
The consultation meeting was attended by traditional leaders, DCEs, Civil Society Organisations, as well as other key stakeholders in the sanitation sector.
The Lawra Municipal, Wa West and the Nadowli-Kaleo Districts Assemblies were awarded citations for emerging top at the maiden quiz competition to mark the World Toilet Day celebration.
The Nadowli-Kaleo District Chief Executive, Madam Katherine Lankono was also awarded with a citation for her tremendous contribution to the fight against Open Defecation in her jurisdiction.