The Volta Regional Minister, Madam Helen Adwoa Ntoso, has commended 54 communities in 14 districts, out of 25, for achieving open defecation free (ODF), saying the fact that there were no visible faeces would promote good health and productivity.
Madam Ntoso, who was fascinated by the achievement, pointed out that with the success story, 80 percent of households own and use latrines, and the communities also have a clear action plan towards improving sanitation coverage and general environmental sanitation and hygiene.
The Regional Minister gave the commendation at an award ceremony for the 54 communities that achieved OPF in the regional capital, Ho, and explained that it was interesting to note that hand washing with soap under running water had become a common practice in the 54 communities.
Madam Ntoso used the opportunity to thank the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) for financial assistance to the OPF programme, and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and other key sector players for their support in the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programme being implemented nationwide.
She urged community members, including children, to dispose their faecal matter in an acceptable manner that would not perpetuate faeco-oral transmission, and asked that they should continue working hard in order to sustain ODF in the communitie.
Madam Ntoso explained that under the Government of Ghana and UNICEF programme, the region targeted 412 communities for ODF in 2016, while 178 received funding for 2016.
She revealed that so far, GH¢232,094 had been disbursed for district level activities, as 77 teams are currently working in all the 14 districts in the region.
The 54 communities that distinguished themselves received citations and certificates in recognition of their efforts towards elimination of open defecation to serve as motivation for other communities.