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General News of Wednesday, 6 February 2019


Open Defecation Free campaign needs more government support

UNICEF Chief of WASH has called for more government support for the anti open defecation campaign towards achieving the 2030 nationwide Open Defecation Free (ODF) target.

He said Government must make good its promise to invest in the ODF drive, and ready itself to take full responsibility of the campaigns when donors withdraw their support.

Mr Duncan, who was speaking at a review of Social Norms and Results Based Financing (RBF) in Ho, said leadership played a major role in Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) successes, and that, both government and traditional authorities needed to hold fast to their responsibilities.

"The current leadership must increase its love towards making ODF possible nationwide. If the leadership does not drive it, it will not happen", he stated.

The ODF rates in the Volta region has increased from 25 per cent in 2011 to 38 per cent in 2017, the sharpest rise nationally.

Home latrine coverage in the region also increased from seven to 14 per cent from 2012 to 2017.

Mr Duncan remarked that, it was a challenge that reflected throughout the country, but however noted that, the good progress in some districts showed significant improvement.

He said CLTS campaigns had succeeded in getting close to 250, 000 people to build toilets, and challenged government to scale it up nationally.

Mr Joshua Ofosuhene, Volta Regional WASH Consultant, UNICEF, said the increase in Open Defecation and the slow latrine coverage reflected minimal impacts of the CLTS campaign in the region.

He therefore appealed to Municipal and District Chief Executives in the region to make CLTS succeses a priority and initiate measures to drive the campaign.

Mrs Jennifer Mankatah, a UNICEF Social Norms Consultant said voluntarism must not fade among communities, and that the campaigns must encourage traditional authorities and traditional leaders to revive community self help initiatives.

Mr Richard Ahiagbede, Volta Regional Environment Health Officer, said stakeholders in the region must strategise, and mobilise resources towards the success of the campaigns.

The review was attended by Municipal and District Chief Executives from across the region, Social Norms Ambassadors and Champions, and also representatives from UNICEF, the Regional Coordination Council and representatives from the Local Government Authority.

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