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Upper West RICCS deliberates over efforts to achieve ODF status

The Upper West Regional Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee on Sanitation (RICCS) has discussed various methods in a bid to achieve an Open Defecation Free (ODF) status, a target set by the regional coordinating council.

The move, which has also received support from Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs), is being guided by a policy objective framework that spells out measures to help MDAs attain ODF by 2019.

The measures includes: social mobilization, district inter-quiz competitions for students on sanitation and construction of household latrines as well as engaging traditional rulers and opinion leaders in ODF advocacy.

Others also cover enacting and enforcing community bylaws on open defecation and construction of VIP and KVIP toilets in schools and in religious and health centres across the 11 MDAs in the region.

Alhaji Sulemana Alhassan, the Regional Minister, said it is part of the ruling New Patriotic Party NPP’s campaign promise to ensure of One Latrine per Household and urged the RCCS to work towards attaining the stated objective by 2019.

But his comment was received with mixed reactions from the committee members who met on Friday to deliberate on the likelihood of achieving the target in the region.

Mr Isidore Benly, a Senior Staff at the Upper West Regional Environmental Health Service Department (REHSD), said the Committee should rather focus on identifying factors that lead to open defecation and this would guide them on how to tackle the challenge.

Mr Mustapha N. Sinto, the Upper West Regional Information Officer, said urged technocrats to rather advise the minister that it was not going to be possible to achieve the target within the deadline.

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Mr Wahid Dawono, a Health Promotion Officer, said: “Some of the districts such as Wa East, Sisala East and Wa Municipal have not started constructing the latrines” and suggested the MDAs be adequately resourced to carry out the projects.

GNA

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