The Media Coalition Against Open Defecation (M-CODe) is to launch “M-CODe 2023 Anti-Open Defecation Nationwide Advocacy,” a national advocacy aimed at ending open defecation.
In a statement signed by Mr Francis Ameyibor, M-CODe National Convenor ahead of the launch of the campaign, the coalition said it seeks through “M-CODe 2023 Anti-OD Nationwide Advocacy,” to rejuvenate locally, the public awareness campaign toward the global target of elimination of open defecation (OD) by 2030.
“The M-CODe acknowledges the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) goal Six which requires a substantial acceleration in toilet use, stressing that “open defecation is an affront to the dignity, health, and well-being, especially of girls and women.”
According to the statement, M-CODe had also initiated strategic engagement with World Vision Ghana which has been a major backbone of the coalition as well as the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) Sanitation and Water Project for Ghana toward upscaling advocacy against open defecation.
The M-CODe revealed that open defecation is scientifically linked with poor sanitation, engagement in unhygienic practices such as not washing hands with soap after open defecation and spreading germs from one stage to the other.
The M-CODe admitted that open defecation has been practiced for centuries and in some environments embedded in cultural norms, but in the 21st century, there was a need for a sustained shift in the behaviour of whole communities so that a new norm, toilet use by all, is created, and accepted.
M-CODe also through the advocacy would engage strategic stakeholders, including Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Ministry of Sanitation among others to revamp and sustain the activism to change the parameters and create an open defecation-free society.
The M-CODe 2023 Anti-OD Nationwide Advocacy would also focus on religious and traditional leaders, media personnel, celebrities, politicians, civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, and other strategic stakeholders in the environmental, health, sanitation, as well as industry players.
The Media Coalition Against Open Defecation also called on the corporate world to support the national efforts at ending open defecation which also requires investment in the construction, maintenance, and use of latrines, and other basic services.
The M-CODe 2023 Anti-OD Nationwide Advocacy would also focus on a series of activities in line with the World Water Day events slated for March 22, and World Toilet Day fixed for November 19.
Both events have the United Nations global theme: “Accelerating Change through Partnerships and Cooperation”.