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Atulbabisi Assemblyman supports measures to punish residents practising open defecation

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The Assemblyman for the Atulbabisi Electoral Area in the Bolgatanga Municipality of the Upper East Region, Aaron Abongo, has thrown his weight behind a decision by the Municipality Environmental and Sanitation Department to begin arresting and processing before court, persons found to be practising Open Defecation. 

Speaking on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show with Mark Smith, Mr. Abongo explained that to break the continued practise of open defecation, critical attention must be given to enforcing sanitation by-laws in the Bolgatanga Municipality. 

Mr. Abongo’s comments come after it came to light that the Bolgatanga Municipality in the Upper East Region reports a concerning 27.7 percent prevalence of Open Defecation (OD). The overall Upper East Region stands at over 50 percent, according to Evans Bornaa, the Bolgatanga Municipal Environmental Health Officer.

During an interview on the Day Break Upper East Show with Mark Smith on July 24, 2023, Mr. Bornaa shed light on the sanitation situation in the area. To address the issue, plans are underway to establish a dedicated task force responsible for apprehending individuals engaged in open defecation during early mornings and late nights, with subsequent court appearances for offenders, he added.

Mr. Abongo, the Assemblyman for the Atulbasisi Electoral Area said, “when you consider the dawn and night arrests, they would help. I do not think that if you spend Ghc10 or Ghc20 on food, and then after that you would pay Ghc200 or more as a fine for Open Defecation, you would not want to repeat that.”

Open defecation is the practice of relieving oneself in the open, such as fields, bushes, forests, riversides, or other public places, without using a proper toilet or sanitation facility. It is a widespread issue in many parts of the world, particularly in rural areas and low-income communities, where access to proper sanitation infrastructure is limited or absent.

Open defecation can have severe consequences for public health and the environment. It can lead to the contamination of water sources, the spread of diseases, and the overall degradation of the environment. Lack of proper sanitation facilities contributes to poor hygiene practices and can perpetuate a cycle of poverty and ill health in affected communities.

Efforts to eliminate open defecation often involve the construction of toilets and sanitation facilities, as well as public awareness campaigns to promote proper hygiene practices and the importance of using sanitary facilities for human waste disposal. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include targets to achieve universal access to improved sanitation facilities and eliminate open defecation to ensure a healthier and more sustainable future for all.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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