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Regional News of Thursday, 13 November 2014

Source: The Chronicle

Open defecation widespread in U/W

The Chief of Field Officers of UNICEF in the three Northern regions, Madam Clara Dube, has stated that open defecation in the Upper West Region has reduced from 78.7% to 71.1% between 2006 to 2011.

According to her, the practice is still widespread, with about seven out of ten household members defecating outside, while 24.3 have access to improving sanitation facility in the region. She indicated that the region had the highest figures in Northern Ghana for access to safe drinking water, but there has been a sharp decline from 94.8% in 2006 to 88.6% in 2011.

Madam Clara pointed out that 56% of public basic schools in Northern Ghana do not have drinking water, and about 41% do not have toilet facilities. She said a child’s health determines whether or not they will succeed in school, and that providing safe water and toilets could promote hygiene and increase school attendance and achievement.

Madam Clara said UNICEF Ghana would provide safe water and toilets for basic school children, between 2012 and 2016, and Wash in School aims to provide 62,500 children in Ghana with washing services in 110 schools.

The Upper West Regional Minister, Amin Amidu Sulemani, urged the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives to bring to bear their rich experiences and knowledge in their area to influence and produce changes in local policy and attitudes, for the good of their communities.

He called on all political leaders and decision makers at the regional and district levels on issues affecting children and women with reference to trends in the Upper West Region. Amin Sulemani said the region is doing well is the water sector where its coverage of 77%, as against the national average of 63%, is one of the highest in the country.