Regional Minister launches Social Norms Campaign against Open Defecation in Wa

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Regional Minister launches Social Norms Campaign against Open Defecation in Wa

The Ministry of Sanitation and Water in collaboration with UNICEF, Canada, the Netherlands, Environmental Health and Sanitation Department and Community Development has launched a campaign dubbed “Social Norms Campaign Against Open Defecation” to address sanitation challenges in the Region. The campaign which was launched by the Regional Minister at the In-service Training Centre on Tuesday 12 /12/2017 falls under the broader government’s programme of National Sanitation Campaign that seeks to create awareness on the need for all Ghanaians to act and behave in a manner that would safeguard the collective health of every citizen.

In his launching address, the Upper West Regional Minister Hon. Alhaji Sulemana Alhassan thanked UNICEF- Ghana and the other implementing partners for instituting the campaign against open defecation in the region. He said the campaign will help the Region in its fight against poor sanitation and more especially stop open defecation.

On her part, a representative of UNICEF Madam Emma-Joan Halm (wash officer) stated that the campaign will help create awareness on the health effects of open defecation on the wellbeing of Ghanaians. She added that the campaign is expected to change individual behaviour on negative sanitation practices at the household level.

She indicated that, the campaign was not targeting only those who practice open defecation, but also the policy makers and service providers such as environmental health officials, health workers and the civil society. Madam Emma Halm commended the region under the leadership of the Regional Minister for spearheading the institutional triggering process which saw all districts in the region pledging to become open defecation  free [ODF] by December 2022. According to UNICEF –Ghana between 2011 and 2014, the Upper West was the only region that reduced its open defecation rate by almost 22% having moved from 71.10% to 49.26%, the highest reduction rate across the country.

Madam Emma pledged the support of UNICEF to the region in the fight against poor sanitation to improve the quality of lives of the people especially children.

All MDCE’s present at the launch however pledged to make their various MDA’s Open Defecation Free (ODF) by 2019.

Source: Dudimah Julius – PRO-UWRCC