At least ten communities in the Saboba District in the Northern Region have officially been declared Open Free Defecation (ODF) communities following their ability to build house hold toilets in all their homes.
The issue of open defecation in the northern region is a matter of concern with the region currently ninth in the country. Saboba was ranked 17 out of 26 districts in the region.
The communities attained ODF status after they passed the district assessment and the Regional Inter Agency Coordinating committee on sanitation vetting.
With technical expertise from World Vision, 12 communities were triggered for the ODF status but two failed to qualify.
The communities included Nkpeepa, Bunge, kpegu East, Kpegu West. The rest are Nanyeni, Kabonbu, Jakpum, Mulipido, Bondando and Saboba-Liful.
Speaking at a Durbar organised by World Vision to celebrate the 10 communities, Joseph Yaw Fankibi who read a speech on behalf of the Northern Regional Operations Manager said sanitation was critical to the wellbeing of all communities.
He said the World Vision was working to improve the wellbeing of all children especially the most vulnerable and their households.
Mr. Fankibi said the Saboba area programme was currently implementing two technical projects in the areas of water sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and the household food security, resilience and improved community engagement and sponsorship plan (CESP).
He said in the area of WASH the program had provided 81 boreholes and 7 mechanised water system since 2014 to date in over 45 communities in the district.
Mr Fankibi said World Vision was implementing the government of Ghana’s rural sanitation model and strategy with focus on community led total sanitation.
He commended the communities which had attained ODF status, adding that it would ensure that vulnerable children and their families have safe environment to enjoy life in all its fullness.
Mr Fankibi raised concerns about the low water table of the area which he said was affecting their efforts to reach more communities with safe drinking water.
He also expressed concerns about some communities’ failure to mobilise revenue to maintain their water facilities provided by world vision.
Mr Fankibi called on government and other partners to explore other options in the area of water provision following the low water table in the Saboba area.
He also called on the district assembly to pay more attention to the sustenance of development projects by monitoring the projects.
Mr Fankibi said plans are far advance by World Vision to provide technical support for 12 more communities that are practicing Open Defecation, support ODF communities with five boreholes and mechanised borehole system and safe water handling and hand washing sensitization for some selected communities.
District Chief Executive of Saboba Bingrini George said the vision of the district is to meet the ODF status by 2019.
He said sanitation is key to their development agenda and they will continue to allocate resources in that regard.