GNA Reporter wins special UNICEF award

By
Kwamina Tandoh/Caroline Pomeyie, GNA

Accra, Aug. 19, GNA
– Mr Kafui Kanyi, Volta Regional Manager of the Ghana News Agency has been
honoured by United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) at the Open Defecation Free
(ODF) Media Awards ceremony in Accra.

Mr Kanyi’s feature
article: “Mass Defecation on Kabakaba Hill,” published on
www.ghananewsagency.org on January 25, 2016 was adjudged among Online/Wire
Service Category of the award acknowledged for its contribution to the fight
against open defecation in Ghana.

The ODF Media
Contest was organised by UNICEF and Canada in partnership with the Ministry of
Local Government and Rural Development to award journalists for their
contribution to increase awareness to eliminate open defecation.

Other award winners
are: Ms Jamila Akweley Okertchiri of Daily Guide who was adjudged the overall
winner submitted two stories: “Ending Open Defecation: The Smart Way,” and
“Open Defecation, a right denied.”

In the TV category
of the award: Ms Winifred Affum of Ghana Television with the story: “Open
Defecation at Akporman,” was adjudged the winner and Mr Gabriel Obodai
Torgbor-Ashong of Metro TV with the story: “Attitude undermining Open
defecation,” runner up.

The rest are: Mr
Zadok Kwame Gyesi’s article published on the graphiconline June 28, 2016
titled: “Mion district leading war against open defecation.”

In the radio
category, Nyadror Adanuti Nelson Junior of Diamond FM, Tamale with the story:
“Behind closed doors,” was adjudged the best story in the Radio category while
Mr Dominic Hlordzi of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation’s radio story; “Toilet
Lagoon”.

The contest was
launched in December 2015 to improve media coverage against open defecation
issues, as Ghana’s sanitation coverage is dramatically lagging behind the rest
of the continent.

While the practice
perpetuates diseases such as Cholera which killed 247 people in 2014, access to
household toilet facilities in the country remains limited to 18 per cent of
households in urban areas and nine per cent in rural areas.

In Ghana, only 15
per cent of the population has access to household toilet facilities.

Speaking at the
Award Ceremony, Ms Susan Namondo Ngongi, UNICEF representative in Ghana said
open defecation and poor sanitation resulted in the outbreaks of diarrhoea
responsible for killing 2,500 children every year.

“Behaviour change is
what we need to attain an ODF Ghana, but it will require a massive
collaboration effort across a broad based partnership and the media is one of
the key vehicles to drive this forward.” she said.

Mr Obeng Poku,
Director Policy at MLGRD said the ministry considers the issue of open
defecation as crucial.

He said the report
from the World Bank Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) reveals that open
defecation cost the country US$79 million annually.

He said open
defecation was a threat to human health and Ghanaians have a major role to play
in addressing the problem.

“Ghana has set the
target to eradicate open defecation by 2020, we urge the media to promote the
ODF agenda, the ministry has been embarking on’’, he said.

He acknowledged
WASH, UNICEF, Government of Canada and the media for its collaboration with the
Ministry to drive the end of open defecation. 

Mr Affail Monney,
President of the Ghana Journalists Association, congratulated the award winners
for their efforts towards the good course and said that the media as an agent
of change in society must use its influence to preach against open defecation.

GNA

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