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Efforts to ensure improved sanitation practices in the Northern, North East and Savannah Regions have yielded results as more than half of the households in the area now have access to toilet facilities, the seventh Open Defecation Free (ODF) League Table has shown.

The seventh ODF League Table released in Tamale on Tuesday showed that 57 per cent of the 300,000 households in the three regions had access to toilet facilities while 54 per cent of the 4,360 communities in the three regions were also ODF or did not defecate in the open.

At the district level, the Tamale Metropolis placed last as it had the highest number of communities where residents defecated in the open, followed by North Gonja, and West Gonja Districts and the Savelugu Municipality.

The Mion District continued to post impressive records placing first as it had the least number of communities where residents practised open defecation followed by Tatali-Sangule, Kpandai, and Zabzugu Districts and Nanumba North Municipality.

The ODF League Table is an initiative of the Northern Regional Coordinating Council, Regional Inter-agency Coordinating Committee on Sanitation, and Environmental Health and Sanitation Unit, which is supported by a host of civil society organizations including United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

It assesses access to basic sanitation practices amongst residents and ranks the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in that regard.

Mr Salifu Saeed, Northern Regional Minister, who spoke during the launch of the seventh ODF League Table, attributed the situation to the commitment by government and development partners to promote improved sanitation for all as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr Saeed commended development partners for their efforts in the sanitation area, urging MMDAs to show more commitment to efforts at improving sanitation practices in their communities.

Mr Osman Mumuni, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Specialist at UNICEF Field Office in Tamale, emphasized the need for MMDAs to enforce by-laws on sanitation to help in the fight against open defecation in their communities.

source: GNA