From Richard Owusu-Akyaw, Kumasi
Ashanti region scored zero in sanitation on the 2017 Ghana’s District League Table (DTL), making it the dirtiest region in Ghana.
The UNICEF and CDD report, which was code named: “Towards Equitable and Sustainable Development” captured six areas; namely Education, Sanitation, Water, Health, Security and Governance. It was emphatic that open defecation is rife in the most populous region in Ghana.
Addressing stakeholders from the 46 districts in the Ashanti Region, Mr. Charles A. Dzradosi, Social Policy Specialist of UNICEF explained that the region is not utilising other government interventions in sanitation, making the region lag behind in sanitation issues.
He was emphatic that the sanitation in Ashanti region goes beyond open defecation, adding that household-toilet ratio is appalling.
In a post interview with The Chronicle, Mr. Dzradosi explained that the Community led Sanitation exercise, which are being practised by other regions is low in Ashanti region, giving rise to sanitation issues in the region.
Responding to claims by some stakeholders that UNICEF is not extending their policies to Ashanti region, the Social Policy Specialist of UNICEF noted that the policy belongs to government of Ghana and UNICEF is only supporting it.
He emphasised that open defecation accounts for 70% in the three northern regions, which necessitated government’s intervention.
On the methodology of the report, Mr. Dzradosi told the stakeholders that they had their data from the ministry of Local Government.
The UNICEF staffer has, however, charged the region to take sanitation issues serious and reverse this development.
In the DLT Ashanti ranking, Atwima Nwabiagya emerged the first with Afigya Kwabre district languishing at the bottom.
On the national ladder, Tema Metropolitan, La Nkwantanang-Madina, Atwima Nwabiagya, Upper Denkyira East Municipal and Awutu Senya were the first five on the table, with Agona East, East Gonja,Gomoa West, Gushiegu and Krachi East as the last five respectively.
Whiles the Accra Metropolitan Assembly was ranked 49, the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, placed 50.
In the said report he expressed worry about the Volta region which faired so badly and queried why people of Tema are in the lead and Volta region egregiously lagging behind.
According to him, since 2016, there have been some important shifts in the ranking of districts due to changes in their level of development.
Looking at the table, those districts that have risen in ranking are shaded green and those that have declined and shaded red.
Mr. Dzradosi said: “What is most important is that overall, 190 districts managed to improve their score as compared to last year. However, this means that 26 districts saw their score actually worsen.
Taking her turn, Mrs Ing. Maybel Amoako Atta, the Director at the Office of Head of Local Government sector, charged MMDCEs to work hard for their respective districts and municipalities.
She said the report is their trump card to seek for funding from government and other sources to make their assemblies one of the best place to live in Ghana.
Mrs. Amoako Atta also urged MMDCEs to take issues about data seriously and provide credible information to reflect the true state of their assemblies.
She reminded stakeholders that Ghanaians are increasingly becoming discerning and sophisticated hence local governance must be improved.
In a brief statement which was read on behalf of the Ashanti regional minister, Mrs. Emelia Botchway, the Acting Coordinating director of the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council, urged MMDCEs to take a cue from the latest ranking and put their house in order.
According to her, the DLT intends to stimulate performance at the assembly level.
She continued that it is a significant tool the districts and municipalities would rally behind to correct aberrations in their jurisdictions.
Pix 1: Mr. Charles A. Dzradosi, Social Policy Specialist of UNICEF
Pix 2: Mrs. Ing Maybel Amoako Atta, Director – Office of head of Local Government sector