Upper East region has been ranked first as the region that is mostly indulged in open defecation amongst the ten regions in Ghana.
According to a 2014 Ghana Statistical Service report, 88.6% of the population in the Upper East region engages in open defecation due to reasons including absence of toilet facilities, unhygienic public toilets, culture and convenience.
At a seminar held on Tuesday to train the media on its role in the fight against the menace of open defecation, communication consultant with Water Supply, sanitation and hygiene(WASH), Mr. Addai Emmanuel bemoaned the spate at which people build houses and deliberately refuse to provide toilet facilities in their private apartments.
He mentioned that there was the need for individuals to make it a priority to build toilet facilities in order to curb open defecation stating that open defecation accounted for the rise in cholera cases to 28,944 and 247 deaths in 2014.
He added that Ghana loses 79 million dollars annually because of the menace and this according to him can be avoided if communities come together to build communal latrines, individuals build subsidized household latrines, various District Assemblies enforce existing bye-laws without fear or favor and when various communities undertake community-led total sanitation.
He indicated that various regions except the Upper East region have made a declaration and commitment to fight the menace of open defecation. He therefore called on the Upper East Regional Minister, James Zugah Tigah to make a declaration on the region’s commitment to fight the menace.
He called on all stakeholders including traditional rulers to come on board to help rid the country of open defecation and its accompanying effects.
By Offei-Akoto Ayeh | A1RADIOONLINE.com | GHANA