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UNICEF and MLGRD announce “Face of ODF” a media award scheme

ACCRA, 11 December, 2015 - UNICEF in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) and the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) is launching an award scheme for Ghanaian journalists. The award scheme is dubbed “Face of ODF Media Feature and Photo Contest.” It is part of efforts towards attaining the national goal of an Open Defecation Free (ODF) Ghana by 2020. 

This aligns with the sanitation targets of both the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that expires by the end of December 2015 and its successor the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The launch is a follow-up to a recent announcement by the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, to institute an award scheme for journalists as part of the national drive to end open defecation in Ghana. 

“Sanitation is a shared responsibility and the media are key partners in supporting and holding the ministry to their commitment to improve basic sanitation in Ghana” said the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Alhaji Collins Dauda.

The award scheme will be launched in Accra on Tuesday December 15th 2015. The scheme will award journalists who exhibit professionalism in identifying the issues, establishing the linkages to health and socio-economic development, and bring to the fore the simple innovative measures that have been adopted to eliminate the menace. The award winning works should reflect a good mixture of research, analysis and pictorial representation.

Details of the scheme and the entry requirements will be announced at the launch ceremony.

Susan Namondo Ngongi, UNICEF representative said, “behavior change will be critical to attain ODF in Ghana, but it will require massive collaborative efforts across a broad range of partners. Media, is one of the key vehicles to drive this forward."

Ghana has made little progress in managing the poor sanitation situation in the country. A recent cholera outbreak which claimed over two hundred lives as well as the abysmal sanitation coverage of only 15%, underscores the poor sanitation challenge in the country. Open defecation is also a key sanitation challenge affecting the country with 21% of Ghanaians resorting to the practice. 

National statistics say five million Ghanaians do not have access to any toilet facilities and 20 million do not have access to basic improved sanitation.

Media focus on open defecation and general WASH issues, which cost the country a whopping 79 million US dollars annually, will help equip people with the needed information to make informed decisions and choices regarding their toilet manners that will eventually become the practice rather than the exception.



UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:

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About Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development exists to promote the establishment and development of a vibrant and well resourced decentralized system of local government for the people of Ghana lo ensure good governance and balanced rural based development. For more information about MLGRD visit:

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