The Upper East region has been ranked first in open defecation in the country despite continuous education on its effects. 82% of people in the region practice open defecation followed by 79% and 73% in the Upper West and Northern region.
A 2015 World Health Origination and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) report also ranked Ghana as the 7th dirtiest country in the world with 15% sanitation coverage.
At a maiden Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) conference held at University for Development Studies, Chief Executive Officer of Community Water and Sanitation Agency, Worlanyo Kwadjo Siabi said house owners unwillingness to build toilets is a contributory factor to the menace.
“Availability of land and low population density or large land space for few inhabitants accounts for some of the inhabitants that will continue to frustrate any strategy designed to increase household latrine construction.”
As part of measures to the fight against illegal gold mining in the country, the Community Water and Sanitation Agency Chief Executive Officer on the occasion called for a special security agency to fight the canker.
According to him the president’s efforts to end illegal mining popularly known as galamsey is effective, however, much needs to be done.
“The security agencies are not ready for this combat and the solution going forward will be to create a special security agency to protect our natural or man-made resources including our water bodies”
Mr. Worlanyo also emphasized the need for the country’s laws to be enforced to end illegal mining in order to protect the water bodies from further deteriorating.
Upper East regional minister, Rockson Bukari on the occasion said the dispersed settlement pattern of the region in particular hampers universal water coverage for all. Fluoride deposit and open defecation according to the minister are major setbacks to safe water delivery in the region.
“Though discussions are on-going to arrest the situation, we must together work as a team to find lasting solution to the problem,” he said.
While pledging to combat water and sanitation challenges in the region, the minister urged all Municipal and District assemblies in the region to endevour to honour 5% capital contribution towards the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation (SRWS) project.
By: Joshua Asaah|A1radioonline.com|Ghana