Three communities in the Lawra Municipality have passed the Open Defecation Free (ODF) verification conducted by the Upper West Regional Inter-agency Coordinating Committee on Sanitation (RICCS), awaiting certification by the Ministry of Water and Sanitation.
The Lawra Municipal Assembly submitted four communities, Korkori, Zinkaar, Biro and Dewoh, for verification and certification as ODF communities.
Out of the four, Korkori in the Zambo Area Council, and Zinkaar and Dewoh in the Lawra Area Council passed the verification exercise while Biro community in the Babile Area Council failed.
According to the ODF verification protocol, before a community could pass for certification, it must have at least 80 per cent latrine coverage, faeces must not be seen in the open or on the slaps of the toilets, and must be community-led towards ending open defecation, among others.
However, at Biro faeces were spotted in the open, which disqualified the community from passing the ODF verification.
The UNICEF is supporting the Lawra Municipality with funding to implement the Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) initiative in the communities towards ending open defecation (OD) in the municipality and the region at large.
The RICCS verification team encouraged the communities that passed the verification to keep up the good works and to ensure the community did not go back to OD.
A highlight on how the community can move to sanitised status was given.
The verification team also entreated the Chief and elders at the Biro community, which failed the verification to step up their work to ensure that members of the community defecated in the toilet.
Mr Daade Kaara, the Regent of the Biro community, expressed disappointment that the community had failed the verification for the fourth time.
He acknowledged the dignity and good health associated with OD and promised to work towards ending the menace.
Out of a total of 94 communities in the Lawra Municipality 75 had attained ODF status, representing 80 per cent.
The Upper West Region had attained 65 per cent ODF coverage, with 761 communities being ODF out of a total of 1,167 communities in the region.