Step up law enforcement against open defecation – M-CODE to Assemblies

The Media Foundation Against Open Defecation (M-CODE) is calling on the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to step up the enforcement of regulations against open defecation by empowering environmental health officers to perform better in their inspection roles. 'We need enforcement to change this negative attitude. The M-CODE is coming up with joint programmes with the assemblies for people to change their attitudes and be more responsible towards the environment,' says Mr Francis Ameyibor, the National Convenor of the Foundation. He said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of the third executive breakfast conversation on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), organised by the child focused Christian religious organisation, World Vision Ghana, partnered by the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, among others. The conversation, held recently in Accra, on the theme: 'Repositioning Water and Sanitation as a Key Driver of National Development,' dis cussed the catalytic role of WASH in accelerating growth and wellbeing of society and why the country should prioritise it in the development agenda. He stressed the enforcement of by-laws to hold people in check against discharging faecal matter into drains. According to the 2021 National Housing and Population Census of Ghana, about 18 per cent of households do not have access to a toilet facility, with the proportion being over three times as much among rural (31.3%) as against urban (8.9%) households. Rural households (5.1%) dominate the use of unimproved toilet facilities relative to urban areas (1.1%) and show wide disparities across the regions ranging from Upper West (21.9%) to Greater Accra Region (3.4%). Mr Ameyibor noted that the M-CODE was also engaging with traditional rulers against open defecation and described as irresponsible the discharge of faecal waste into drains, which could cause diseases like cholera among other infections. 'This is never a good practice. Apart from the stench tha t emanates from the drains due to such a pratice, it creates an ugly sight and diseases,' he said. He called on Ghanaians to individually and collectively rise against open defecation and report households engaged in discharging effluent into drains to the law enforcement agencies. Source: Ghana News Agency