File photo: Gavel

The Yendi Municipal Assembly says it has recently prosecuted seven people for engaging in open defecation.

They were made to pay a fine of GH₵‎600 each for their actions, which were offensive and against the Assembly’s bye-laws on open defecation.

The Yendi Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Alhaji Hammed Abubakar Yussif, said as the Assembly was having a discussion on GBC’s local Naya Radio, there was a phone call to the station that some people were “doing it just behind the radio station.”

“A team was organised and the seven people were arrested and prosecuted.”

“We’ll prosecute more of such,” he said and warned against the practice which was a threat to the environment.

Open defecation is the human practice of defecating outside—in the open.

Instead of toilets, people use fields, bushes, forests, open bodies of water or other open spaces when nature calls.

The practice is common where sanitation infrastructure is not available.

About 892 million people, or 12 per cent of the global population, practice open defecation.

The last Population and Housing Census by the Ghana Statistical Service indicates that about 17.7 per cent of Ghana’s households practice open defecation.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Alhaji Yussif said the Assembly, from June 2023 onwards, would intensify the prosecution of offenders.

The interview was on the sidelines of the second multi-stakeholder dialogue on WASH, dubbed: “Executive Breakfast Conversation.”

It was on the theme: “Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and Sustainable WASH Service Delivery,” with the sub-theme; “Every Child Deserves Clean Water and Improved Sanitation.”

It was organised by the Ghana Chapter of World Vision International, a Christian humanitarian organisation, the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, and the United States Agency for International Development, among other partners.

The Yendi MCE announced that the Assembly had put in place a programme to help households construct toilet facilities.

He said the materials for the work and the men are ready for the construction within a week after discussions with the Assembly.