The Municipal Environmental Health Unit of the Savelugu/Nanton Municpal Assembly (S/NM) is to begin arresting residents, who practise open defaecation (OD) within the Municipality.
Mr Kombian Duut, S/NM Environmental Health Officer, who announced this, said it was to deter residents from practising OD to improve hygiene in the communities within the Municipality.
Mr Duut said already a resident was released on bail after being arrested for practising OD in the Municipality.
He was speaking at a forum organised by the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) and Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana (CDD-Ghana) at Savelugu to discuss issues of health and sanitation as captured in the 2016 Open Defaecation free (ODF) League Table.
The forum, facilitated by the Savannah Integrated Rural Development Aid (SIRDA), formed part of the “I Am Aware” project being implemented by GACC and CDD-Ghana.
It was attended by officials from S/NM, residents and representatives of some civil society organisations.
The ‘I Am Aware’ project is an online platform where data on public service delivery in sectors including health, education, sanitation, water and security are published for all to access and use for evidence-based advocacy.
Mr Duut said OD was the major health problem in the Municipality as many houses did not have toilet facilities forcing residents to practice OD.
According to the 2016 ODF League Table, S/NM placed 15 in the Northern Region with 10 of its communities declared as ODF or having access to toilet facilities.
Mr Duut urged landlords to make provision for toilet facilities in their property to stop OD in the municipality.
Alhaji Mohammed Shaibu, S/NM Planning Officer urged residents to embrace the community-led total sanitation strategy to construct their own toilets to improve hygiene in their communities to avoid diseases.
Some community members, who took part in the discussions, appealed to S/NM to support households with subsidies to construct household toilets since they could not afford the cost of constructing the facility.
Others expressed need for sanitary inspectors to be deployed to communities to educate residents on OD as well as sanction those flouting rules on environmental sanitation.
Hajia Alima Sagito Saeed, Executive Director of SIRDA said efforts would be made to continue to mobilise residents to understand the issues as regards the I Am Aware project to promote accountability.
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