Monday, August 05, 2013

Upper West Stakeholders Strategize On CLTS Implementation

By Emmanuel Ato Quansah

The Upper West Regional Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee on Sanitation (RICCS) made up of the Environmental Health Directorate of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (EHD, MLGRD), Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), Public Health Department of the Ghana Health Services, Regional Coordinating Council and representatives of Non-Governmental Organizations (in WASH sector) have met the eleven Municipals/Districts Inter-Agency Coordinating Committees on Sanitation (M/DICCS) in the region to assess the status of implementation of CLTS in that part of the country.

The series of meetings which begun on the 17th of June and ended on 8th July 2013 informed the MDAs on the need for them to scale up efforts at achieving an open defecation free (ODF) status as per the community led total sanitation (CLTS) module. Hence participants used the occasion to strategize on the way forward in order for the region to make progress on the sanitation performance ODF status league table as compiled by the Environmental Health Directorate, of Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development – Upper West.

The region has a poor Open Defecation (OD) statistics of 79% and is the last after Upper East. 

Speaking at the meetings, the head of the RICCs delegation, Mr. Rex Jakpa, the Regional Environmental Health Officer (REHO) of the Upper West Region pointed out that environmental sanitation promotion is aimed at developing and maintaining a clean, safe and pleasant physical and natural environment in all human settlements.

“Environmental sanitation promotion ensures improved socio-cultural, economic and physical well-being of all sections of the population, hence, the need for all to be proactive in the implementation of CLTS to scale-up sanitation in the country”.

The REHO reminded all the districts of the deadline for which their respective MDAs are to attain ODF status in line with the MoU which the M/DCEs have signed and witnessed by all. “Sanitation is a public good and thus it calls for everybody’s involvement to ensure improved health and poverty reduction at large in the country”. 

Madam Freda Natu, the CLTS focal person of the EHD – MLGRD - UWR, on her part, charged the MDAs to scale-up sanitation after drawing their attention to their respective positions on the ODF league table.  

She said her office does not countenance mediocrity but is ready to assist officers who will zealously implement the CLTS concept to scale up sanitation. 

Mr. Emmanuel Ato Quansah, an Extension Services Specialist of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency, Upper West Region charged the M/DICCS to begin working in line with the new draft ODF protocol guidelines in order to attain ODF as signed in the MoUs.

He said the regular meeting is a key platform that will enable the MDAs to strategies to meet sanitation targets. “CWSA is contributing greatly in the scalability of sanitation in the region.

Under the Sustainable Rural Water and Sanitation Project (SRWSP) alone, my outfit is facilitating the promotion of sanitation and hygiene in 292 rural communities and 7 small towns in 6 MDAs which is intended to benefit about 65,000 people in the region”. 

The meetings created an enabling platform for the RICCs to address peculiar problems facing the MDAs in the scalability of sanitation. The RICCS assured the M/DICCs that their doors are open to all stakeholders who may need its assistance in the execution of sanitation promotion duties.

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