God abhors open defecation – Health officer

Our country is a religious one, made up of all sorts of creeds; Christians and Muslims included.

The holy scriptures of Christians and Muslims speak against filth, hence the saying; cleanliness is next to Godliness, for the Christians; and the performance of ablution to clean one’s self before offering prayers for the Muslims.

The country’s current cholera situation is as a result of the unhygienic practices by the citizens, open defecation being a prime reason.

Speaking on JoyNews MultiTV’s sanitation oriented program, ‘Clean Communities’, Mr  Rex Jakpa Mumuni, Regional Environmental Health Officer for the Northern region, referred to the Bible and the Quran on what the two holy books say about sanitation.

He made mention of the fact that, Allah abhors filth, that is why Muslims go through a process of cleansing (ablution) before they go to Allah in prayer.

“When you are clean, God is with you, when you are not, he is not with you”, he said.

The Regional Environmental Health Officer quoted the Bible, Deuteronomy 23:12-14, which says:                                                                          

You are to have a place outside the camp to serve as a latrine. You must have a spade among your other equipment and when you relieve yourself  outside you must dig a hole with the spade and then turn and cover your excrement. For the Lord your God walks about in the middle of your camp to deliver you and defeat your enemies for you. Therefore your camp should be holy, so that he does not see anything indecent among you and turn away from you.” (New English Translation)

He believes the country is going through difficult times because of our insanitary practices thereby preventing God’s blessings upon the country.

“If we do free range, open defecation, around our own homes, the spirit of God that will come will not be there and we will not get the blessings we are praying for.”

He said the practice of open defecation “has been there for far too long. People have taken it as a norm” and it has to be curbed.

Suggesting a solution to open defecation, Mr. Rex Jakpa Mumuni is of the conviction that construction of public toilets is not the answer to the practice but rather every household should have its own toilet facility.

He said “the metropolitan assembly should make sure that the bye-laws for household toilets are implemented. The construction of public toilets deters people from building their own toilets”.

He said the “hazards of open defecation are enormous”. These hazards of open defecation impacts on the health status of the people, dignity of society, development and poverty reduction and an obstacle to God’s blessings.

Mr. Rex Jakpa Mumuni called for total behavioural change to end the practice of open defecation.

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