Residents of Gbungbaliga in the Yendi Municipality have embraced the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) concept by constructing household latrines to end open defecation in the area.
To this end, the Gbungbaliga Electoral Area, which consists of six communities including; Gbungbaliga, Yimahigu, Bago, Yasheigu, Kpachini and Oyomdo have all attained open defecation free (ODF) status as residents do not defecate in the open again.
This came to light when some Deputy Ministers of State, Municipal and District Chief Executives and officials from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) visited some households in the area to learn about sanitation practices amongst residents, since they were introduced to the CLTS concept in 2017.
The visit was in line with the Ministers' Sanitation Summit, which seeks to build on the strategic role of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in implementing sanitation initiatives of two critical Ministries- Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
The GNA observed that most houses had latrines and tippy-tap water facilities to wash their hands with soap after visiting the toilet.
Mr Alidu Haruna, Assembly Member for Gbungbaliga Electoral Area said the construction of household latrines coupled with weekly environmental clean-up activities in the area led to a reduction in the incidences of water-borne diseases in the area.
Mr Alhassan Sumani, a resident said "We used to fall sick very often and spent a lot of money on treatment, but that is not the case again since we constructed household latrines."
Mr Michael Gyato, Deputy Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources commended residents of the area for not only achieving ODF but also keeping their environment clean devoid of plastic bags.
Madam Margaret Gwada, Chief of UNICEF Field Office, Tamale urged residents of the area to sustain the momentum to help ensure district-wide ODF to reduce sanitation-related diseases in the country.