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Lijobilbu community stops open defecation and demands potable water to crown its success


ODFResidents in Lijobilbu, a farming community in the Mion District of the northern region are demanding potable drinking water from the  government and from non-governmental organizations in the water and sanitation sector either dug-outs or wells.

Their demands  follow the community’s commitment to ensure clean and healthy environment in the area.

Lijobilbu which is one of the 171 communities in the Mion district has a total population of 468 residents in 37 houses. They have lacked potable drinking water for decades now.

The village’s main source of water is a dug-out which is about 15 kilometers away from the community. Primary two pupils of Tamapu Wajul told Zaa News they normally get to school late because of the long distance they travel for water coupled with the steep nature of the dam site.

Another Primary six pupil, Kwabena Samuel said if the government or NGOs help them with a sustainable water source such as a well, they will be grateful because no one in the community engages in bad sanitation practice any longer.

This came to light when the Mion district environmental health unit and UNICEF  gave journalists first-hand information about Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) project in the Lijobilbu and other communities.

Though it lacks the essential commodity, the community pays special attention to its health needs and has ensured that all the each of the 37 households have latrines with hand washing facilities.

To make this point clear, community residents no longer defecate in the open, not even children. Unlike many towns and villages where dirty water runs through people’s bath rooms, Lijobilbu has everything in the form of sewage. Community members mainly yam, maize and soya beans farmers made sanitation their priority in 2013 when the District Environmental Health Unit triggered initiated the CLTS.

The CLTS project jointly funded by UNICEF and government of Ghana set a December 2016 target when all the practice of Open Defecation Free (ODF) in communities in the will mercifully be halted.

The 2010 population and housing census puts the district total population at 81,812 in the three area councils, that is, Jimli, Kpabiya and Sang. Out of the 171 communities in Mion, 50 including Lijobilbu have achieved Open Defecation Free (ODF), a fact certified by independent verifiers.

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