The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has commended Kpale-Xorse for being the first Open Defecation Free (ODF) community in the Ho Municipal area.
“Indeed you are a good example for other rural communities in Ghana to emulate in addressing their own sanitation challenges,” a citation accompanying a certificate and plaque read.
The award was presented to representatives of Kpale-Xorse at a workshop held in Ho as part of the Government of Ghana and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Water and Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Programme.
The programme sought to promote Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) in rural communities leading to the eradication of open defecation habits.
Kpale-Xorse, a Church based community where biblical prescriptions and standards are strictly enforced, attained its ODF status using the admonishment in Deuteronomy 23: 12-14.
The text admonished the Israelites to: “designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover your excrement. For the Lord your God moves about in your camp to protect and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you.”
Kpale-Xorse is about 45 minutes drive from Ho off the foot of the Kpeve hills at Bame.
Tokoekoe Agbelengor, also a Church based community where the lives of the people are said to be similarly based on biblical injunctions, came second after Kpale-Xorse to attain the ODF status.
Tokokoe Agbelengor is located on the Ho-Nyive road.
Mr Francis Abotsi, Volta Regional Director, Environmental Health and Sanitation Department, said the examples of Kpale-Xorse and Tokokoe Agbelengor communities show the positive influence churches could exert on the attainment of high sanitation standards in communities.
Mr Abotsi said the Ho Municipal area was one of five districts chosen in the Volta region in February 2012 to take part in the UNICEF and Government of Ghana’s Water and Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme in some regions in the country.
He explained that some rural communities in the municipal area noted for open defecation were encouraged and assisted to pursue a drive towards attaining ODF status under the CLTS.
Mr Richard Ahiadegbe, Ho Municipal Environmental Health Officer, said there are 43 ODF communities in the municipal area.
He said 49 out of 56 household latrines initiated in the municipal area have been completed in addition to 51 community latrines.
Mr Ahiadegbe said some chiefs and opinion leaders in about 16 ODF targeted communities were not co-operating towards the attainment of ODF status.
Meanwhile Mr Emmanuel Nyavor, Hygiene Specialist at the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), has said every Ghanaian takes in a certain quantity of faeces depending on where he or she resides.
He said one gram of human faeces contained one million viruses and 40 million bacteria and this made open defecation and poor personal hygiene a very serious health risk.
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