A Sanitation Consultant, Emmanuel Addai, has suggested to metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) to include Open Defecation Free status of communities in their criteria to determine the allocation of developmental projects and facilities to communities.
He suggests that the approach, which is based on reward for good sanitation initiatives, is a pragmatic one that will help motivate many communities across the country to link their development and prestige to how sanitized they are, especially in ending open defecation.
“If a district has made sanitation a priority, and some communities have actually worked towards that or some households have actually made efforts to stop open defecation and put up latrines, then the DCE could say that we have little resources, and then makes open defecation one of the criteria, then he will say if you meet it, I will bring you the facility”, Mr. Addai said.
Mr. Addai, who is the CEO of a sanitation consultancy firm, Kings Hall Media, gave the proposal when he spoke to Citi News on the sidelines of a sanitation sensitization workshop for media practitioners in Cape Coast.
He says the approach has already proved very effective in some MMDAs and communities that have implemented it, saying it will help Ghana realise its vision to get communities reach the open defecation free status.
“We heard about a DCE who said if you do not have a toilet in your houses, I will not allow the Electricity Company of Ghana to give you electricity, and after all, there is a law in Ghana that every house should have a toilet”, he argued.
Asked if the proposal will not raise legal battles between MMDAs, traditional authorities and community members, the CEO of Kings Hall Media noted the approach could be implemented in a way that all agencies in the MMDAs will buy into it to avoid unnecessary legal inhibitions to its implementation.
He suggested linking the distribution of developmental projects to open defecation free status could be incorporated in the local assembly laws so that it could have a better legal backing.
Mr. Addai further noted the approach could also work better if traditional authorities are actively brought on board and are made to understand it well.
He cited an example: “I have been to a traditional area where the chief was even preventing people from fetching water because they had not constructed toilet in their homes, something they had all decided to do, and that was what actually did the trick”.
By: Joseph Ackon-Mensah /citinewsroom.com/Ghana