Tackling Open Defecation demands holistic approach

Emmanuel Todd, GNA

Accra, Feb. 26, GNA –
Mr Patrick Boamah, Deputy Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, on
Wednesday said tackling Open Defaecation (ODF) menace is not the responsibility
of government alone, but needs a collective effort of all stakeholders and

“Tackling ODF should
be seen as a collective responsibility by every citizen, every household,
institutions, work places, and public places should have toilets,” he said.

Mr Boamah stated at
an ODF Ghana Campaign award ceremony and exhibition organised in Accra to drive
the “Ghana Goes Open Defecation Free (ODF)” sensitization.

The campaign is
jointly supported by the Governments of Ghana and Canada, UNICEF, the
Netherlands, World Bank, Ghana Health Service, Water Aid, and Media Coalition
Against Open Defecation (M-CODe).

Others include; SNV,
Environmental Service Providers Association, Local government services, Global
Communities Partners for Good, World Vision, Plan International, other partner
institutions and individual volunteers.

The Deputy Minister
said the Agenda formed part of the Sustainable Development Goal 6. 2 which
required that; “by 2030, all should achieve access to adequate and equitable
sanitation and hygiene to end open defecation, paying special attention to the
needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations”.

He said the campaign
equally provided economic opportunities to artisans across the country.

Statistics indicate
that about 1,000 of them have benefitted from the project through the
construction of household and community toilets across the country under the
National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI).

Mr Boamah lauded the
Church of Pentecost for building a toilet facility for a Police Post in Tatale
District and encouraged others to emulate the initiative.

Nana Kobina Nketia
V, Paramount Chief of Essikado Traditional Area who chaired the event, said the
problem of Open Defecation is not Ghanaian or African but required that all get
onboard to deal with the shame and menace in the communities.

He said it was not
natural for any individual to cloth themselves in filth and the effects of such
practices affected all within the Ghanaian community whether directly or

He advised that all
should take particular interest in the fight because the flies in the wind knew
no boundaries.

Mr Ronald Strikker,
Netherlands’ Ambassador to Ghana said the Netherlands was happy to be part of
the project and had in the past two years through its WASH programme and
partnership with the UNICEF provided some 23,000 household toilets within some
municipalities mainly in Ashaiman and Tamale.

He commended the
efforts of the Municipal Chief Executives of Ashaiman in the Greater Accra
Region, Tamale in the Northern Region and Ho in the Volta Region for ensuring
that andlords living within their communities have toilets in their households
thereby reducing Open Defecation.