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Upper West Region must scale-up advocacy to abolish open defecation – M-CODe


  12 Avril      5        Santé (315),

   

Wa (UWR), April 12, GNA – The Media Coalition Against Open Defecation (M-CODe) has called on the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council, traditional leaders and landlords to scale up efforts to abolish open defecation by 2030.

Mr Francis Ameyibor, M-CODe National Convenor, who made the call in an interview with the GNA, noted that the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Six Target Two mandates that nations must end open defecation by 2030.

He said that by this calculation, Ghana has about six years to stop open defecation and called for coordinated stakeholder advocacy against the practice.

Mr Ameyibor noted that as part of efforts to scale up advocacy against the practice, the M-CODe, in collaboration with the World Vision, Ghana, and Kings Hall Media, would launch the Upper West Regional branch on April 25 to galvanise the media to pro-actively campaign against open defecation.

The M-CODe National Convenor pointed out that GOAL Six has six targets, all of which were centred on access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene-three of the most fundamental requirements for human health and welfare.

“The SDG Six recognises that if progress does not triple, billions of people will not have access to these basic services by 2030. This is because water demand is increasing due to population expansion, urbanisation, and growing water requirements for agriculture, industry, and the energy sector,” Mr Ameyibor noted.

« We are building up synergies with all stakeholders to ensure that we work together to achieve the set goals, » he said, urging traditional and religious leaders to join the fight against open defecation in their areas.

Communities that have achieved open defecation-free status must also get in touch with M-CODe for special recognition and to tell the rest of the world about their successes,” Mr. Ameyibor noted.

Other SDG Goal Six targets that Ghana is anticipated to meet by 2030 include achieving universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all, access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and ending open defecation.

Special attention will be given to the needs of women, girls, and those in vulnerable situations.

“The country also has a duty to reduce pollution, stop dumping dangerous materials and chemicals, limit their release, cut the percentage of untreated wastewater in half, and significantly increase recycling and safe reuse on a worldwide scale,” Mr Ameyibor stated.

He said M-CODe will simultaneously launch the Upper West Regional M-CODE branch and the M-CODe Strategic Stakeholders Dialogue platform.

Mr Caesar Abagali, the Interim Upper West Regional M-CODe Coordinator, noted that the region must also plan to significantly improve water usage efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable rainwater harvesting and supplies to manage water scarcity and significantly lower the number of people affected by it.

He said that as a region, “we are expected to take advantage of and gain from increased international cooperation and capacity-building support in activities and programmes related to water and sanitation, including technologies for water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling, and reuse.”

Mr Abagali pledged the commitment of journalists in the region to relentlessly advocate against open defecation as its impact affects all, irrespective of status in society.

Organisations to participate in the Upper West Regional launch of M-CODe and seminar on open defecation include the Regional Coordinating Council, the Environmental Health Department, the Ghana Education Service, the Ghana Health Service, the National Commission for Civic Education, the Department of Community Development, the Department of Gender, and the Community Water and Sanitation Agency.

Others included the representatives from civil society organisations, regional environmental officers, the Environmental Protection Agency, CONIWAS, Kings Hall Media, and World Vision.

The rest are groups made up of regional officers from organisations such as the Ministry of Sanitation and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural

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