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 No teenage pregnancies at Debidebi past two decades
Debidebi is often referred to as the "Village where no one dies"

No teenage pregnancies at Debidebi past two decades

For years, the peaceful community of Debidebi in the Kpando Municipality in the Volta Region has been celebrated for the remarkable longevity of its inhabitants. 

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Often referred to as the "Village where no one dies," the outstanding reputation of Debidebi, which is home to approximately 500 residents, is the absence of teenage pregnancy.

“Remarkably, Debidebi has not witnessed a single case of teenage pregnancy in the past two decades,” says John Afelete, often referred to as the 'Natural Leader' of the community.

Debidebi  is a fishing community

He attributed this achievement to a combination of vigilant parental guidance and mentorship.

“Children in Debidebi are permitted to partake in various social activities, but always under the supervision of adults. This approach ensures that young individuals are well-aware that matters of sex and childbirth are reserved for married adults.”

 Debidebi has also achieved the remarkable feat of remaining free from cases of malaria, cholera and dysentery for nearly a decade.

Residents of Debidebi routinely live beyond the age of 90, retaining their physical vigour to engage in farm work and various social activities.

The peaceful passing of Chief Togbe Neneku, two years ago, marked the only recorded death in the community over the past 12 years.

 

Embracing hygiene and health

The secret behind their longevity and well-being lies in the community's firm commitment to high standards of hygiene. Debidebi now boasts around sixty well-maintained houses, each equipped with proper sanitation facilities.

 Open defecation is strictly prohibited and carries substantial fines for violators. As a result, instances of open defecation have been entirely eradicated in Debidebi.

Remarkably, the construction of any new house commences with the installation of a toilet, underlining the community's emphasis on hygiene.

Debidebi now boasts around 60 well-maintained houses, each equipped with proper sanitation facilities

Long before the advent of COVID-19 in Ghana, regular handwashing with soap and water had been ingrained in the community's daily routine.

 

Challenges

One challenge that Debidebi faces is the lack of a medical clinic. Pregnant women in labour must be transported by canoe to either Kpando-Fesi or Kpando-Agbenoxoe, an ordeal that underscores the community's isolation from essential services. Afelete expresses frustration at the neglect of policy makers, who only seem to remember Debidebi when seeking votes.

Debidebi residents hold their environment and coolness dear, strongly urging political parties to abstain from using public address systems within the community.

Nestled amid dense vegetation between the Fesi Mountain and the Volta Lake, Debidebi remains isolated, accessible only through a winding footpath. The lack of a clearly defined road can make it challenging for visitors to find their way in or out.

Despite its serene setting, Debidebi accommodates approximately 100 schoolchildren and boasts a lone primary school. Teachers face daily walks through thick jungle to reach the school.

 

Preserving tradition

Men from Debidebi sustain the fishing trade, while women undertake strenuous journeys to sell fish outside the community. The single place of worship in Debidebi is the Church of Pentecost, contributing to the absence of liquor and cigarette sales, as well as the community's stance against polygamy.

. Although electricity cables were extended to Debidebi two years ago, they remain disconnected from the national grid.

Although electricity cables were extended to Debidebi two years ago, they remain disconnected from the national grid. The 'Natural Leader,' appealed to the municipal assembly to provide electricity to the community.

He emphasised that electricity was a crucial necessity that only improves daily life.

Writer's Contact: [email protected]

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