Work together to end open defecation -NCCE to stakeholders
The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has charged relevant stakeholders to work together to end open defecation so Ghana could achieve its SDGs which Ghana has less than seven years to attain.
Mrs Ophelia Ankrah, the Eastern Regional Director said communicable diseases such as, cholera and diarrhea would continue to plague the nation if pragmatic and collaborative efforts are not put in place to arrest the situation.
Speaking at a journalists empowerment forum, organised by the Media Coalition Against Open Defecation (MCODe) with support from World Vision Ghana in Koforidua, the training was to accelerate the fight against open defecation in the region as Ghana works towards eradicating it by 2030.
The Regional Director said, “We are challenged during the rainy season, which exposes us to various diseases such as cholera, Malaria and diarrhea stressing the need for OD to be eliminated.”
She however commended the Media Coalition Against Open Defecation (MCODe) for initiating a relentless nationwide advocacy to end the practice by 2030.
Mrs Ankrah said the Commission, at the regional level, would collaborate with other stakeholders to ensure that “we all fight against the problem and deal with it holistically.”
“We will work with M-CODe Eastern Regional Branch to upscale the fight; we need to fight on towards attaining open defecation-free status in the region,” she said.
Mr Francis Ameyibor, M-CODe National Convenor, said the coalition was seeking to create a synergy for media practitioners and other stakeholders to work together, identify challenges and operational gaps towards a common goal in the fight against open defecation.
The journalists empowerment forum event formed part of “M-CODe 2023 Anti-Open Defecation nationwide advocacy efforts,” supported by World Vision Ghana, he said.
Mr Yaw Atta Arhin, World Vision Ghana’s Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Technical Coordinator, said while Ghana had made remarkable progress in respect of access to safe water, it was regrettable that same could not be said of environmental sanitation.
“Progress towards universal access to improved sanitation and ending open defecation continues to be very slow,” he said.
Mr Arhin charged the coalition to upscale its efforts across the country through innovative programmes, the engagement of celebrities as open defecation free ambassadors, and the use of social and traditional media to consistently drum home the message.
Representatives from the Eastern Regional Coordination Council, the Regional Environmental Health Office, NCCE, Regional SHEP, and the Ghana Education Service (GES), participated in the forum.
Others were the Ghana Health Service, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice,(CHRAJ) and the Community Water and Sanitation Agency(CWSA).
BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY