Eradicating Open Defecation: M-CODe issues 10-point demands to politicians ahead of election 2024

The Media Coalition Against Open Defecation (M-CODe) has issued a 10-point-demand manifesto to the various political parties in the country to secure their commitments towards eradicating Open Defecation (OD) as soon as practicable.

The 10-point-demand dubbed: ‘M-CODe Election 2024 Open Defecation Free Manifesto’ was launched in Wa alongside the inauguration of the Upper West Regional branch of M-CODe to influence political party manifestos for the 2024 general election.

The manifesto demanded the politicians to: ‘develop a clear roadmap for eradicating OD’; ‘prioritise the Rural Sanitation Model and Strategy and upscale successful projects like GAMA/GKMA SWP to metropolis in other regions’; and ‘support small sanitation businesses and service providers’.

Others are: ‘sustain and intensify the sanitation social norms campaign, make OD a performance indicator for MMDCES, develop a PSI on ending OD by 2030 and provide toilets in all basic, second-cycle schools and healthcare facilities by 2030’.

The rest in
cluded, establish a National Sanitation Authority, provide decent toilets along all major highways led by MMDAs in partnership with private sector and enforce the building code.

The M-CODe, in its ODF manifesto, expressed worry that open defecation was a ‘high-thick human behaviour’ prevalent in many communities across all regions in Ghana.

‘The Coalition believes that it takes a strong political will to confront the challenge of open defecation and that political parties, who in fact form the governments in Ghana, need to be brought strongly into the picture when sharing ideas for a fight against open defecation’, it explained.

It said the 2021 Population and Housing Census report by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) indicated that only one out of every four Ghanaians uses an improved household toilet.

‘The report also revealed that 17.7 per cent of the population practice open defecation for several reasons including the lack of decent household and institutional toilets.

The report further indicates
that open defecation varies widely across the sixteen regions, with the Savanna (68.5), Upper East (68.4%), North East (58.1%), Northern (55.3%) and Upper West (50.5%) reporting the highest proportions (GSS-PHC, 2021)’, the ODF Manifesto explained.

The M-CODe believes that if the government of Ghana, its development partners and any entity or institution mandated or interested in improving the sanitation situation in the country implemented those demands it would put the country on the path of ending open defecation.

It, therefore, expressed commitment to making the demands a central point in its advocacy against open defecation and pursuing the demands through effective partnership and alliance with like-minded institutions.

The M-CODe said it would also sustain action on the demands to achieve institutional and individual change in attitude towards ending Open Defecation in the country.

Source: Ghana News Agency