Current statistics has revealed that while 19 per cent of Ghanaians defecate in the open, only 15 per cent of the country’s population has access to toilet facilities in their homes.
As at yesterday, Ghana’s population was at 29,699,346 and it therefore could be estimated that over 600,000 Ghanaians still defecate in places other than a toilet facility.
In another vein, over 20,000 cases of cholera have been attributed to open defecation and poor sanitation with as many as 200 losing their lives in the process.
This disheartening data, according to sector watchers has a strong reason for the country to show a stronger commitment to the fight against the menace.
But Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Nii Adjei Sowah says despite effort by government to address the issue, some citizens prefer to empty their bowels in the open.
Along the beaches for instance, the AMA boss said though toilet facilities had been built, the public still resorted to open defecation, adding; “that has become a culture that needs substantial attention.”
He made these remarks at the Commemoration of the 2018 World Toilet Day at James Town in Accra, on Monday.
The mayor therefore, called on the public to collaborate with the Government in its step to construct toilets facilities for all households within the country.
Nii Adjei Sowah said, the AMA would pay 70 per cent of the total cost and allow the households to pay 30 per cent as a measure to reducing cases of open defecation and its consequences on health and the economy.
As part of the government’s effort to control open defecation and general sanitation problems, Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah said her ministry had launched a ‘Sanitation Technology Competition dubbed ‘Sanitation Hackathon’ to leverage technology to address sanitation challenges in the country.
The Hackathon had assembled computer programmers and sanitation experts to develop innovative digital solutions to accelerate improvement in solid waste collection; build sustainable systems for recycling and provision of dislodging services.
World Toilet Day
The theme chosen for this year’s global celebration is “When nature calls”, and in Ghana the focus is on how to combat the annual cholera outbreaks in parts of the country.
The celebration also placed emphasis on how to discharge liquid waste in a dignified manner, without causing harm to individuals.
By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ firstname.lastname@example.org