The Tamale Metropolitan Assembly, for the second consecutive year, has still led with the highest percentage of people, who defecate in the open in the Northern Region.
This is according to an assessment of the practice of Open Defaecation (OD) in the 26 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the Northern Region in January, this year by Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) partners in the region led by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Northern Regional Coordinating Council.
The Mion District placed first followed by the Tatale/Sangule District for recording the lowest percentage of their residents practising OD whiles East Mamprusi, Gushegu and Chereponi placed third, fourth and fifth in that order.
Some of the worst performing MMDAs in terms of OD are Mamprugu/Moaduri, North Gonja and Sagnarigu Districts.
Madam Margaret Gwada, Chief of Field Office of UNICEF, who spoke during the launch of the 4th OD League Table in Tamale, said the assessment showed tremendous improvement in the number of open defaecation free (ODF) communities as 1274 communities in the region had now attained ODF status as against 931 recorded the previous year.
Madam Gwada said “All 26 MMDAs now have at least one ODF community with Tamale Metro recently achieving one at Dalungbilla. Three MMDAs (Tatale/Sangule, East Mamprusi and Mion) now have about 70 per cent coverage of basic sanitation.
From the ODF survey we have also seen an increase from 15 per cent to 28 per cent in household toilet coverage in Northern Region.”
Mr Salifu Saeed, Northern Regional Minister assured that the Regional Coordinating Council would continue to work in partnership with non-governmental organizations to see its population stay healthy, lead dignified lives, increase productivity and provide good foundation for children and all vulnerable groups in society.
Mr Saeed urged MMDAs in the region to be encouraged by the results of the 4th OD League Table to work hard to eradicate OD from the region by the end of next year.