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Gov’t secures US$74 million for toilet projects

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GOVERNMENT HAS secured an amount US$74 million funding to construct household toilet projects in Greater Kumasi and Greater Accra Metropolitan Areas to improve the lives of people and promote hygiene.

This significant funding comes following the success story of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area Sanitation and Water Project (GAMA-SWP), which has hugely increased peoples access to toilet facilities.

“US$ 74 Million has been secured to undertake the construction of 30,000 household toilets for the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area and 12,000 household toilets for the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area”.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, whilst she was delivering her speech during this year’s World Toilet Day celebration in Kumasi.

The historic programme was under the theme ‘Stop Open Defecation, Own a Household Toilet Now, Let’s Play Our Part in a Covid-19 Era’ and it was held at the Jubilee Park in Kumasi.

The GAMA-SWP, she pointed out “has provided access to improved toilet facilities to serve over 275,968 people in low-income communities representing 34,496 households in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA).

“This has significantly reduced open defecation rates in the Region. Under the same project, 406 disability-friendly, fit-for-purpose, gender sensitive institutional sanitation facilities for 260 beneficiary schools have been provided benefiting over 232,000 school pupils of low-income communities in the GAMA”.

She said as a result of the success of the GAMA SW Project, “an additional funding totalling Seventy-Four Million United States Dollars (US$ 74 Million) has been secured to undertake the construction of 30,000 household toilets for the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area and 12,000 household toilets for the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area”.

The minister sternly warned that open defecation could have adverse consequences on the lives of the people so she charged house owners, to as a matter of urgency, construct toilets in their houses.

“According to the Ghana Statistical Service, 22% of the population practice open defaecation, whilst, only 21% have access to improved sanitation”, she remarked.

The minister added that “Let us all as citizens reflect on the difference between life with a toilet at home and life without a toilet at home. Let us imagine a day without a toilet facility in the life of a school child especially the girl child”.

The United Nations General Assembly has set aside the World Toilet Day to draw global attention to underscore the importance of accessible toilets and improve hygiene across the globe.

On his part, Simon Osei Mensah, said for the fact that 22 percent of the country’s population still practice open defecation is not the best, stressing the need for open defecation to be avoided at all cost.

In a related development, the various assemblies in the Greater Kumasi area including Kumasi, Asokwa, Suame, Oforikrom, Tafo, Asokore Mampong, Ejisu and Kwadaso have been given pickup vehicles to preach against open defecation menace.

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