Prosper K. Kuorsoh, GNA
Nandom (U/W), June 13, GNA – The Nandom District Assembly and other stakeholders including development partners have renewed their commitment to push for a District wide Open Defecation Free (ODF) status by end of August 2018.
The District currently has 91 percent ODF coverage and should the new commitment come to pass successfully, the District will become the first district in Ghana to attain 100 percent ODF status in the race to end open defecation in Ghana.
The Assembly stakeholders and partners renewed their commitment during the Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) results programme sharing and learning event in Nandom in the Upper West Region.
It was on the theme “Making Nandom ODF, setting the pace for Ghana towards national ODF”.
Mr. Eric Banye, Country Programme Coordinator of the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), said Nandom District had so far demonstrated true commitment to the programme and have turned out to be the best district in terms of ODF in the country.
He said even though the SSH4A project officially ended in 2017, the high level of stakeholder commitment coupled with the remarkable achievement chalked, SNV took an internal decision to support the District to attain district wide ODF and become the first in the country to achieve that feat.
“SNV is making 100 percent commitment technically, financially and capacity wise to ensure Nandom attain ODF and become the pace setters in the country,” Mr. Banye emphasized.
The SNV Country Programme Coordinator noted that it was not just the joy of attaining ODF status, but also to prepare the grounds for the District to attract other development interventions in the areas of education, agriculture and health among others.
He added that achieving district wide ODF status would make the District a reference point for other development interventions and appealed to chiefs and other traditional authorities and natural leaders to show another level of high commitment to help the remaining eight communities also to attain ODF.
Mr. Aangsoglenang Arkum Thadeus, the Nandom District Chief Executive (DCE), commended SVN and its funding partners for not only setting the pace and guiding them to reach this far, but still demonstrating their commitment in helping them reach for the ultimate.
He said the 91 per cent ODF coverage placed the District first in the Upper West Region and seventh in the whole country, but appealed to people of the District to come out of the celebration mood and work hard towards the 100 percent target by August.
Mr. Solomon Mbewe, Country Programme Lead, SSH4A, Zambia, pointed out that communities have seen enough of the District Environmental Health Officer and suggested that for the District to achieve the nine percent ODF deficit, it was time for the political and traditional authorities to also get involved at the community level.
Theresa Swanzy-Baffoe, SNV Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) Advisor, disclosed that at the end of the project a total of 163,676 people gained access to improved sanitation (toilets) while 250 communities became ODF.
The SSH4A Results Programme is a multi country programme being implemented by SNV and funded by UKAID.
In Ghana, the project was implemented in eight districts from 2014 and ended in March 2018. However, based on great gains in Nandom, an extension was done to support the District to achieve 100 percent ODF.
The project goal is to aid in accelerating sanitation and hygiene improvement that will contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets.