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Bolga Chiefs Call For Legal Backing To Fight Open Defecation Menace
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Open Defecation
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Traditional rulers and chiefs in the Upper East Region say the issue of open defecation is becoming a 'ritual' in communities in the region, and has called on government to entrust them with the legal backing to help fight the menace.

They argue that the by-laws that are enacted at the Local Assembly with the sole motive of fighting open defecation and other related sanitation phenomena cannot succeed if chiefs are not backed legally to pursue a relentless war against the practice which is hazardous to people's health.

Speaking at the 'Social Norms Campaign' launch in Bolgatanga, the Paramount Chief of the Bongo Traditional Area, Naba Baba Salifu Alemyarum, indicated that bad sanitation practice was as a result of indiscipline among the youth, hence the need for government to recognize chiefs as strong partners in standing vigorously against the devilish and ungodly act.

Naba Alemyarum, who doubles as the Vice President of the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs, expressed shock over the inconsiderable ramifications of the menace of open defecation on the country's progress, saying the act is alien to the culture of the country.

"The chiefs who are supposed to fight this canker are now pushed to the background. We are now looking like toothless bull dogs, so the menace continuous".

"When chiefs are backed legally at the local level, the recalcitrant who are not willing to observe positive sanitation practices, and are bent on perpetuating open defecation, will be dealt with accordingly," Naba Alemyarum pointed, while pledging the unwavering support of chiefs and traditional rulers to aid government wage a war fiercely against bad sanitation practices.

According to him, the call for legal backing should not be misinterpreted as a demand by chiefs for community members to be obsequiously submissive to them, but they(chiefs) are only obsessed with supporting the country to make significant gains in fighting the challenge by exposing and sanctioning notorious community folks who indulge in Open defection activity.

The Regional Coordinating Director, Alhaji Mohammed Azongo, who represented the Regional Minister, Rockson Ayine Bukari at the forum, said plans are underway to implement structures to confront the menace of open defection.

He added that, "the RCC is ready to task the various assemblies to implement structures to fight open defecation in the region. We are actually hoping the region will be declared 'Open Defecation Free' in future".

A representative from the Community Water and Sanitation in the region, Juventious Awinsone, called for an effective collaboration between the District Assemblies and other important stakeholders to act as a matter of urgency to reverse the unfortunate development.

Meanwhile, the day's forum which featured revered stakeholders, including traditional leaders, Educationists, Health Professionals, Journalists, Donor partners, among other development partners, saw all of them resolving to partner government to confront the canker of open defecation.
Source: Francis Dabre Dabang/Upper East Region

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