385 out of 1,990 communities of the Upper East Region have been certified Open Defecation Free through the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) model.
The CLTS model, which encourages communities to use local materials to construct latrines was adopted in 2015 and triggered the certification of 15 communities as open defecation free, with 42 more being certified in 2016.
Speaking at a ceremony to unveil the 2017 Upper East Regional Open Defecation Free League table in Bolgatnaga, Acting Regional Environmental Office Juventius Asayuure said, the region was on course to end open defecation by 2019.
On the league table, the Garu-Tempane District came first, followed by the Binduri, Bawku West, Kassena-Nankana West and Bongo Districts.
The rest are the Builsa South, Pusiga, Builsa North, and Talensi Districts. The Kassena-Nanaka Municipality and the Nabdam and Bolgatanga districts came last.
Mr. Asayuure, however expressed worry at the alarming rate of open defecation in the urban areas while rural communities were embracing the CLTS model.
He challenged those authorities responsible for these areas to enforce sanitation by-laws by prosecuting and naming and shaming sanitation offenders.
Mr. Asayuure added that, eight police prosecutors have been sent to Tamale for a refresher course to strengthen the fight against open defecation.
The stakeholder forum, attended by co-coordinating directors, environmental health officers, Municipal and District Chief Executives and civil society organizations, deliberated on how to scale up the model to cover more communities.