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Health News of Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Source: GNA

Yendi Environment Health and Sanitation Unit commended

Yendi (NR), Feb. 16, GNA - The Yendi Municipal Environmental Health an= d Sanitation Unit, has been commended for working tirelessly to address the problem of indiscriminate defecation in communities in the Yendi Municipality of Northern Region. The Yendi Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Issah Zakaria, who gave the commendation, said the incidence had reduced in most communities and pledge= d the Assembly's support to eradicate the menace.

Mr Zakaria said this when the Regional Environmental Health Officer, M= r Stephen Adongo and a monitoring team from UNICEF, Community and Water Sanitation Agency, and the Department of Community Development paid courtes= y call on him in his office in Yendi. He thanked them on the report presented to his office on verification of open defecation free status for 2010 in the Yendi Municipality. He said the Assembly had instituted an award for communities that woul= d stop indiscriminate defecation. Mr Zakaria reminded the Environmental Health Officers, Community Water and Sanitation Agency, Town and Country Planning Department to ensure that people putting up houses constructed household latrines to avoid the indiscriminate defecation in their communities. The Regional Environmental Health Officer, Mr Adongo said in October last year that the Yendi Environmental Health and Sanitation Unit submitted a list of 18 communities to the regional monitoring team for verification based on assessment made by the Unit for open defecation free. He indicated that 15 communities were later submitted in January this year for the verification due to some reasons. According to the Regional Environmental Health Officer, they formed three verification teams and each team was to visit two communities a day and one community, the third with each team led by Area Council Staff to th= e communities.

He indicated that during their verification Wasado, Yingrido, Linguli= , Kpanjihi and Korachido had a pass mark of 95 to 99 per cent but Kamshegu failed to reach the pass mark of 95 per cent but rather had 38 per cent. Mr Adongo said in all the 15 communities visited, nine communities passed with a pass mark between 95 to 99 per cent and Kulinkpegu, Tonoli, Nalogba, Bagbani, Gmatudo and Darusalam failed with marks ranging between 3= 1 to 51 per cent. He said Nebong, Kpatia, Sakpegu, which were not verified and failed t= o hit the pass mark, were given two months to prepare for verification. Mr Adongo and his verification teams appealed to the Assembly to motivate Assembly members and their people, who raised the image of the Municipality, in the area of sanitation. He advised those, who had the pass mark, not to go back to indiscriminate defecation and encouraged other communities to adopt good hygiene practices, especially safe excreta disposal and hand washing with soap among others. He praised Yendi for having the highest number of open defecation free communities because Zabzugu/Tatale District has three open defecation communities, Tolon has four and Karage District has Five. The Yendi Acting Municipal Environmental Health Officer, Mrs Fati Sibidow, complained about inadequate fuel supply, which was as a result of liquidation problem of funding for the institutional latrines which held th= e release of request for funding.

Mrs. Sibidow said since second quarter of 2010 the Unit has not had an= y money for fuel since November last year. She indicated that because of that the Environmental Health Officers use their own money to purchase fuel to visit the communities on the indiscriminate defecation problems. She appealed to the Assembly and UNICEF to assist the Unit with funds to do effective environmental health work to prevent the environmental health hazards. Mrs Fati sibidow commended the communities for their cooperation durin= g the verification exercise.

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