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HOW ANAM WASH INITIATIVE IS WORKING TO ACHIEVE AN OPEN DEFECATION-FREE DISTRICT 

 

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Asutifi North District Assembly together with its partners under ANAM WASH project is working to achieve a total open-defecation-free District. This forms part of their goal to provide sustainable WASH services to all residents of the District by 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 6.

The project uses two models- Community-Led Total Sanitation, CLTS, and sanitation market, SanMark as tools to achieve this purpose.

Under the CLTS model, residents are guided to construct household latrines using available materials in their communities. On the other hand, SanMark provides complete latrines-Dignilo and KVIP for households which comes with terms and conditions.

Environmental Health Officer, Prince John Ntem explained the process involved in the SanMark model explained “you pay 30 percent of the total amount at the beginning. So every month, you pay any amount you get depending on what you choose.”

“For the start, you dig your own pit. Then we bring the blocks and all the materials and build for you. So you begin to pay every month till you finish paying. There’s a one-year grace period”, he added.

A resident of Benuyena and father of two, Bismark Lartey expressed the joy of having a latrine in his home and said, “Initially, we used to defecate in the open and get infected with diseases like cholera. Our wards fell sick regularly and it was difficult saving money since most of it was spent on hospital bills and drugs”.

“Since we constructed the latrines which are covered, the infections have ceased. Flies can no longer transmit cholera to us. The handwashing with soap and running water using the tippy tap has also helped to reduce infections significantly”, he added.

Apparently, a District Interagency Coordinating Committee on Sanitation, (DICCS) and Regional Interagency Coordinating Committee on Sanitation (RICCS) regularly undertake verification exercises to assess the progress in the communities  44 communities out of the targeted 56 communities have so far achieved open-defecation-free status in the District.

The people have also built hand washing stations out of available local materials to wash their hands after using the latrines. The growth in positive behaviour with concerns to hygiene and sanitation is evident across every community in the district, large or small.

Stakeholders are confident of the sustainability and growth of the project due to the fact that it places the responsibility for maintenance and improvement of WASH services on the people.

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