Akatsi (VR), Oct. 05, GNA - The Akatsi South District Assembly is planning to trigger more communities in the District in a bid to be declared an Open Defecation Free (ODF) District.
The Assembly ranks highest, both regional and national, in the Government of Ghana (GoG)-United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) interim Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) report, having declared 16 communities with 236 households ODF.
GoG-UNICEF is implementing a behavioral change strategy in the form of a social norm to improve sanitation and hand washing behaviours, based on CLTS as the primary strategy that recognises the need to move from a culture of dependence, based on subsidies, to a behavioural change approach where people choose to stop open defecation.
During a media interaction with key players in the District and some communities on their success story, Mr. Nathaniel Dzadey, the District Coordinating Director, said “we owned the programme” and supported the implementation with logistics.
He said with funding from UNICEF, they were able to trigger ten additional communities for the last quarter of this year and expressed the hope to do more with additional funding.
Mr. Dzadey said to ensure the success of the programme; the Assembly enforced its sanitation bye-laws and fined four people this year.
Mr. Emmanuel Adei, Communication Consultant, UNICEF, advised the Assembly to employ the services of the mass media to trigger more communities to be ODF.
He said the message must go beyond community entries to the people wanting to implement the programme on their own.
Mr. Adei said though ODF rode on the back of CLTS, it needed to use mass media and enforcement to achieve the target.
In a visit to Biedokope and Kpodokope, both farming communities and two of the declared ODF communities, they attested to a reduction in cholera and diarrhea cases especially among children after being declared ODF.
They said they formed youth groups which helped households construct toilet facilities and fined people who defecated in the open as a deterrent.