Only 482 of the 3,630 communities in the central region are open defecation free, said Mr. Emmanuel Freeman Goku, Regional Director, Environmental Health Officer (REHO).
This number represents 14% of the communities that have access to decent toilets in the Region.
Mr Goku, who made it known at the launch of the Central Region branch of the Media Coalition Against Open Defecation (M-CODE) in Cape Coast, described the situation as “worrying”. .
M-CODE is sponsored by World Vision and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
He said a greater percentage of people in the region were practicing open defecation and that it needed the collaboration of all stakeholders as well as an appropriate change in attitude to reduce the threat to a bare minimum. .
He said more than 1.1 million people, or 38.5% of the region’s population, have access to improved basic sanitation and stressed the need to do more to increase the number of people with better sanitation. facilities.
The regional director noted that open defecation is dangerous and can cause the destruction of human activities with its endemic diseases including diarrhea, cholera and many others.
He noted that the threat was not only draining the economy but also hampering the country’s growth and development, especially tourism, and encouraged the media to take ownership of the course in the fight against open defecation. free.
At the launch, Mr. Francis Ameyibor, M-CODE Country Officer, said the coalition’s aim was to support the crusade against the phenomenon in Ghana through coordinated and more aggressive political influence and public awareness.
He said M-CODE will continue to celebrate open defecation free communities and hardworking individuals in the fight against the threat.
It will also follow up to ensure that existing policies and strategies related to canker control have been implemented effectively.
The coalition challenges institutions fighting against open defecation to redouble their efforts through sustained publications and public debates.
Members of the Regional Coalition after the launch pledged their unwavering commitment to ending open defecation in the Region.
For her part, Ms. Alice Tettey, Acting Regional Chairperson of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), encouraged members to work diligently to ensure that the target was achieved.
She urged them to increase education and awareness through their platforms to build public understanding of the issues to be addressed in order to influence attitudes for the better.