Have you ever crave living in a village or town where death would never lay it icy hands on you? Though this may be read in fictional novels or blockbuster movie, there is a small sprawling village in Ghana where no soul has been lost in the past three years.
This enviable and wish-to-stay place is Debidebi, small village about 450 inhabitants hidden in the vegetative cover Fesi Mountain and the Volta Lake in the Kpando municipality of the Volta region.
Debidebi’s strange but highly emulative accolade is attributed to high sense of environmental cleanliness.
Without waiting on the Minister of Local Government to announce sanitation day to clean their community, inhabitants of Debidebi are said to have committed to keeping their surroundings clean.
This is said to have saved them from outbreak of deadly diseases to the extent that no one has died in the village in the last three years.
A story carried on page 10 of Ghanaians Times of Thursday, December 18, 2014 narrated the success story of Debidebi.
The aL-hAJJ reproduces the story below.
Debidebi-the land where no one dies.
There is a village in the Kpando municipality, hidden between the thick vegetative cover of the Fesi Mountian and the Volta Lake, where no one has died in the past three years.
Known as Debidebi, the serene community, which has a population of 450 people, including about 100 children, has not recorded a single case of malaria, cholera or diarrhea within the past two years.
The people live above well above 80 years, and are socially active and strong enough to visit their farms.
This is all because the inhabitants have maintained a high sense of environmental cleanliness.
Moved by the condition of the people, officials of UNICEF and the Volta Regional Environmental Health and Sanitation Unit on Tuesday, organized a day’s press tour to the community.
The tour was to enable journalists from selected media houses from Ho and Accra, to see Debidebi’s success story at first hand, and report it to inspire other communities.
The men in the village are predominantly fishermen, while the women are fish mongers and farmers.
Although abject poverty and utter deprivation are visible in the settler community, the first time visitor is truck by the prevailing environmental cleanliness.
Not even a piece of paper or any form of waste could be found on the ground.
“We simple have no sickness at Debidebi because we keep the village clean at all times,” said Mr John Afelete, a spokesman for the village, who is better known as ‘Natural Leader’. There are six of such leaders in the village.
Welcoming the visitors, Mr Afelete said that for decades, Debidebi had been plagued with disease, frequent deaths and other miseries, because there were no toilets and people defecated in the open, day and night.
“We were literally eating our own faeces found everywhere in the village and dispersed by the fowls around,” he said.
However, Mr Afelete said that the village took a bold decision to embrace the community-led Total Sanitation Programme in 2012, and through communal labour, “we constructed toilets for almost every household, using available materials. There are now 22 household pit latrines serving 32 households, while more toilets are about to be constructed.
He gave the assurance that 11 toilets would be constructed every three months, until every household had its own toilet.
Outside every toilet is a water container with a connecting tube and a stop cork made of stick, and also a cake of soap beside it, to ensure that the people wash their hands after attending to nature’s call.
According to Mr Afelete, the people of Debidebi were poised to spread their success story to other communities, and had resolved to help the Volta Lake communities of Kporve, Bibio, Adzabobo, Dzudzorkpo and Gabikpe to build household toilets.
Debidebi was declared an Open Defecation Free Community by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development during the World Toilet Day celebration at Ho on November 19, this year.
Speaking to The Ghanaian Times later, the chief of the village, Togbe Kwami Afelete I, said also that there had never been any crime in Debidebi, which was founded 45 years ago, because anyone who attempted it would incur the wrath of the people and the Volta Lake.
In the absence of electricity, the people of Debidebi cherish their battery-operated radios.
Source: The Al-Hajj
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