Mr Juventus Asangyuure, an Assistant Environmental Officer, has confirmed that a total of 117 communities were validated to be Open Defecation Free (ODF) in 2016.
Out of the number, 11 communities in the Kassena-Nankana West District and three in the Binduri District were also validated in December 2016.
The Environmental Officer said even though efforts are being made to ensure that communities halted the practice, some communities were yet to make full commitment.
Mr Asangyuure said 886 communities were ‘triggered’ between 2012 and 2014, through various interventions in partnership with UNICEF and a number of development partners in the region; 210 communities were ODF, and only 27 communities were verified to have household toilets and used them.
He explained ‘trigger’ to mean the acceptance by people to indiscriminately leave their faecal matter in the open and the dangers accompanying the practice of open defecation.
Mr Juventus Asangyuure said a total of 65 communities in the Builsa North and Builsa South, Districts constituting more than 4,073 households were triggered in 2013.
He said in 2013 alone 12,207 households were triggered and out of this number only 34 have built their latrines and hand washing facilities.
Mr Asangyuure said five more communities were underway to be validated to ODF status in 2017 while other plans were advanced to trigger more communities on open defecation issues.
He expressed worry on the open defecation situation in the Bolgatanga Municipality and said the situation there had not changed over the years, in spite of the continuous sensitization effort in the communities of dangers associated with the concern.
Mr Asangyuure said a survey conducted by the sanitation unit in some selected communities in Bolgatanga in December, revealed that out of 281 houses identified in a given area, only 68 houses had toilets in them.
He said in 2014, the Dugbila community, a suburb of Bolgatanga, reached the status of ODF and ever since, no other community has beaten this status though there were more than 119 communities that were identified to have the potential of reaching the ODF status.
He called for support from partners and communities to instill behavior change practices and advised landlords to make the provision for toilet facilities in their homes a priority for use by their tenants.
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