Ghana has been ranked as second in Africa in open defecation with 19 per cent of its population resorting to sanitation practice deemed the riskiest of all.

The Tamale Metropolis in the Northern Region is the second highest percentage of people who defecate in the open in the country.

This was revealed by the Chief Director of the Northern Region Coordinating Council, Issahaku Alhassan, in conjunction with the Environmental Health Sanitation Unit of the Region and other stakeholders in Tamale at the unveiling ceremony to launch the Open Defecation League Table.

He said open defecation has caused the country about $79 million a year, adding that the practice poses one of the greatest dangers to human health which has fatal consequences for the most vulnerable including children.

Mr. Issahaku said the Region is a hub of about 30 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in the areas of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).

He expressed regret that despite all efforts being made to end open defecation in the Region by the end of this year, seven out of ten residences in the region still use open defecation.

He therefore urged MMDAs to own and support the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) to achieve their goals of ending open defecation by the end of this year.

The Regional Coordinator of CLTS, Dawuda Shaibu, who spoke to TV3 in an interview, attributed the menace to politicians who put up toilet facilities in residential areas making landlords not to build the facilities in their homes.

He said his outfit has engaged with some of the politicians to rather build toilet facilities at public places like schools and markets.

Mion District topped the league table with 73 points to maintain their first position.

They achieved last year while Tamale Metropolis scored 10 points to be at the bottom of the table.