WASH partners in the region have argued that the lack of improved household toilets to stop open defecation coupled with failure to wash hands with soap have left many residents of the region susceptible to diarrhea and respiratory infections.

Statistics show that only 12 per cent of households in the region have access to improved household sanitation facilities.

WASH partners that marked this year’s Global Handwashing Day in Tamale included Community Water and Sanitation Agency, Environmental Health and Sanitation Division of the Northern Regional Coordinating Council, UNICEF, USAID SPRING, USAID RING, School Health Education Programme amongst other civil society organisations.

The event, held on the theme: “Make Handwashing a Habit”, was also used to demonstrate to the general public and school pupils the best way to wash hands with soap to avoid diseases.

Mr Charles Nachinab, WASH Officer at UNICEF, said an anti-open defecation story writing competition for basic school pupils across the country has began and encourage all to write a short story or draw anything that would educate people to stop open defecation.

Mr Nachinab said the competition, which would run until the end of this month, is a collaboration between UNICEF and government to create awareness about open defecation and the need to stop the practice.

Mr Abdallah Abubakari, Northern Regional Minister, whose speech was read on his behalf, expressed government’s appreciation to WASH partners for their efforts to promote improved sanitation practices in the region.

Source: GNA/NewsGhana.com.gh

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