Mion district tops others with the least percentage of residents who defecate in the open with Tamale metro at the bottom of the league table.
The District league table (DLT) is a bi-annual Water and Sanitation (WASH) technical assessment and ranking of the performance of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in fighting open defecation.
The assessment was conducted by the Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
With a target score of 100%, Mion district scored 73% and was first on the Table followed by Nanumba North with a score of 55%. Karaga, Zabzugu and Tatale-Sangule respectively are among the top five districts on the Table. Tamale Metro was last with a score of 10% indicating a greater percentage of its residents defecate in the open.
Sawla-Tuna-Kalba (20th), Kpandai (21st), Sagnarigu (22nd), Bole (23rd), North Gonja (24th) and Mamprugu Mogduri (25th) are among the underperforming districts where Open Defecation is highly practiced. According to the Regional Director of Environmental Health and Sanitation Rex Jakpa Mumuni, the main indicator of how districts performed is the percentage of certified ODF communities per each district. An ODF community is one with no visible faeces around and all households have access to and use latrines.
At the launch of the DLT yesterday at the regional coordinating council, Chief Coordinating Director Alhaji Issahaku Alhassan expressed his dismay at the abysmal performance of Tamale metro and others for doing very little to combat open defecation in their districts in spite of the huge budgetary allocations of the MMDAs and donor funds in the area of sanitation. He said this assessment was to create positive competition among MMDAs in improving the sanitation conditions in their areas.
According to him northern region has over 30 NGOs in WASH who are contributing to better the sanitation conditions of districts yet it leaves much to be desired. He therefore called for more effective measures by MMDAs to elevate the region from its current second position in Ghana as open defecation prone.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) chief of field operations at the Tamale office, Madam Margret Gwarda urged the district directors to go beyond the attainment of their current status by sustaining and improving on it while encouraging underperforming districts to step up their efforts in the fight against open defecation.
The open defecation League Table is part of the strategies adopted by the Regional Coordinating Council and its development partners such as USAID, UNICEF, RING, amongst others to step up efforts of districts in addressing the practice of open defecation.
The next league table is expected to be unveiled by the end of June.
Story By: Alima Bawah