The Oti Region has witnessed improved sanitation practices following the implementation of the WASH for Health project, funded by the USAID.
The project, which was carried out between 2015 and 2021, and was implemented by Global Communities in the Nkwanta South Municipality, Nkwanta North District, and Krachi East Municipality, focused on behavioral change to achieve its target.
Through the efforts of identified natural leaders, 227 communities were declared open defecation free, with improved access to modern laterines.
A total of 550 partners were trained, 180 behaviuor change communication materials were distributed, while 1,400 children and adults were trained in mental health management.
7,377 household latrines installed and 475 less privileged residents were supported to construct household latrines.
27 schools benefited from institutional latrines, while 4 boreholes were constructed for schools.
The Project also saw the construction of 4 institutional latrines and 12 limited mechanised boreholes for healthcare facilities, 95 boreholes, 4 limited mechanised water facilities and 2 small-town water system.
The Oti Regional Coordinator for the WASH Project, James Lomotey, explained that his outfit adopted the sustainability approach, which facilitated affordable household latrine construction through a partnership with major material producers.
This, he said was geared towards aiding the beneficiary districts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 6, which targets access to safe and affordable water and sanitation.
He urged the benficiary communities to make the most of the behaviuor change interventions to sustain gains made during the project period.
“I believe that if these gains are sustained, we should be able to get a lot from the Oti Region as a whole,” Mr. Lomotey said, adding that the project delivered enough technical support to the necessary stakeholder units, and that the Regional Coordinating Council should aid the units to sustain the programmes”, he said.
He further indicated that “the various communities have done so well and they are commended for all that they’ve done for themselves; seeing the need to improve safe disposal of animal and human faeces, to sustain hand washing behavior, especially in this Covid era and also properly storing and retrieving their drinking water”.
The Oti Regional Coordinating Director, Andrew Nawil, lauded the contributions of the project and commended beneficiary communities for embracing the project and ensuring its success.
He, however, lamented on the incidents of increasing typhoid cases in the region which is as a result of poor sanitation practices, and appealed for an extension of the project to cover other districts where the disease is prevalent.
“The incidents of typhoid and other related diseases are so rampant, so I think that you should stay in the region for one or two more years to help us address these challenges”, he said.
The Oti Regional Environmental Health Officer, Sybil Boison, underscored the need for the project to be extended to other districts that wallow in sanitation related challenges.
Stakeholders at the close out meeting in Dambai in the Krachi East Region, appealed for focus to be thrown on island communities, which they feel had been neglected.
Individuals and institutions that had committed, exceptionally to ensure the success of the project, were presented with citations.
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