The Volta Region is certain to declare one District Open Defecation Free (ODF) early 2014, Mr Francis Abotsi, Regional Environmental Health Officer has said.
He acknowledged a number of challenges which must be overcome towards attaining total ODF in the region.
At a regional ODF workshop earlier this year, the Regional Coordinating Council set a 2014 target towards achieving ODF across the region but experts had reservations about the attainment of that target.
A total of 47 communities in the Volta Region are slated for verification in 2014 to determine their Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.
Mr Abotsi said depending on performance, communities undertaking the Programme would be graded as Basic ODF, ODF, Sanitized Community, and Sustained Sanitized Community.
Mr Abotsi was addressing the Regional Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee meeting which reviewed the region’s performance in 2013 and activities for 2014.
The ODF drive is part of UNICEF sponsored Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Programme to encourage Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) drive to eradicate the practice of open defecation in some districts across five regions of the country including the Volta Region.
The others are Northern, Upper East, Upper West and Central Region where studies showed that open defecation was endemic in some communities in certain districts, which practice the Programme targeted to eradicate by 2015.
Mr Abotsi said there would be monitoring in seven new implementing districts in 2014.
Training would be a major focus in the implementing districts in the first quarter of 2014.
Mr Abotsi said 2014 would be a critical year for the region in implementing the Programme because that would be just a year away from the 2015 target.
“Fifty percent communities with household latrines would take us far,” Mr Abotsi said.
Ms Patricia Antwi-Bosiako, UNICEF WASH cum CLTS Consultant, said the Volta Region had achieved significant progress in the implementation of the programme.
She attributed this to the representation of diverse institutions on the Regional and District Inter-Agency Co-ordination Committees on Sanitations in the region and members enthusiasm towards achieving landmark results. GNA