The Daffiama-Bussie-Issa (DBI) District of the Upper West Region has declared 78 communities Open Defecation Free (ODF), since the inception of the implementation of the Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) project in the district in 2012.
This connotes that residents in 78 communities own and use their own latrines after they had been triggered by staff from the Environmental Health and Sanitation Department under the UNICEF funded CLTS project, which was being implemented in conjunction with the government.
The figure represents 74 per cent of a total of 105 communities in the district, and this achievement has seen the district being marked as one of the potential areas to be declared district-wide ODF in the region.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for the DBI, Mr NadiImoro Sanda, made this known when the district took its turn to meet with the media personnel in the region to interact with them on the development of the area at Issa over the weekend.
"This achievement was not attained on a silver platter. We had to put our individual efforts together and partner the environmental health officers to do their community monitoring, such that the people would know how strict we are about the construction, usage and maintenance of a household latrine," he said.
The DCE said the district authorities together with local rulers would leave no stone unturned in encouraging the communities to work in tandem with the environmental officers and also formulate by-laws to check recalcitrant community members whose activities would become inimical to the good sanitation practices they sought to pursue.
Touching on health, the DCE indicated that the assembly had through the District Development and District Assemblies' Common Funds procured a medical laboratory, operating theatre, male and female wards and a doctor's bungalow for the Issah Health Centre, which were at different stages of construction, to boost healthcare delivery and also reduce the number of referrals from the district.
These facilities, he stated, were being provided for the health centre in order to upgrade it to a district hospital which is absent in the area, adding that, "Currently, we patronise the hospital at Nadowli and so we are working at securing one in DBI."
"Health is a very critical area, so in order to ensure good health and a sound body, we are working assiduously to fill the infrastructure gap as much as we can. A Community-based Health Planning Services (CHPS) compound being constructed for the Pulbaa community is 80 per cent complete with funding from the Northern Development Agency, and we hope to construct same facilities for the Jempensi, Owlo, Jolinyiri and Wogu communities," he outlined.
Mr Sandi reiterated that education was key to the development of the area, hence the district had made massive investment into providing infrastructure for the schools in the community.
These he listed, among others, the construction of three-unit classroom block at Balinie, Kenjele and Tuori Worgbere, provision of a single storey 12-unit girls' dormitory block for the Daffiama Senior High School, provision of five motorbikes for the education office in the district, and the granting of scholarship for needy but brilliant tertiary students in the area.
The DCE hinted that some roads were being upgraded, whereas others were being tarred to propel the development of the area.