The people of Pigbengben in the Wa West District have held a special durbar to celebrate the community’s achievement of an Open Defecation Free (ODF) status which has led to the significant reduction of snake bites and other health challenges.
The community’s resolve for each household to have a toilet facility coupled with its stringent measures to terminate the open transmission of faeces, has cut down the number of cholera and typhoid cases, a health official said.
Mr Mohammed Siibu, the Nurse In Charge of Vieri Health Centre, speaking at a community durbar, said that the facility has not received any cholera and typhoid fever cases from Pigbengben community for the past four years.
This, he said, was due to good environmental and sanitation practices including the avoidance of open defecation by community members.
He cautioned the residents not to be complacent with their success but work harder towards achieving a clean environment.
Mr Sulemana Bipuah, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of Community Development Alliance, urged traditional rulers to come out with community bye-laws on open defecation and ensure its enforcement in the society.
He also urged the community to keep their toilet facilities and bathrooms very clean.
Mr Inussah Agambire, the Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of Environmental Health Science, expressed joy that the community has worked to attain its objective.
Pigbengben is among 130 ODF communities in the Wa West District and is among the 565 ODF communities in the Upper West Region.
Several community members took turns to narrate how they encountered snake bites and other health challenges among others.
“ODF has become a remedy to these challenges,” Madam Yakubu Nafisa said: “Sometimes you would be defecating only to realise the person you feel shy is coming on your way”.