President Nana Akufo-Addo
The government has announced that it will pursue a ‘Toilet for All’ agenda next year in a bid to end open defecation in the country by 2030.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, who made this known during the presentation of the 2018 budget to parliament on Wednesday, 200,000 household toilets and 20,000 institutional latrines would be constructed in selected communities as part of government’s larger programme on sanitation management.
“The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources will provide 200,000 household toilets and 20,000 institutional latrines to selected communities under the ‘Toilet for All’ agenda in a bid meet the SDG on ending open defecation,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, prior to the presentation of the 2018 budget, launched the National Sanitation Day with a call on people to clean their environment every day.
Since waste is generated every day, Ghanaians have an obligation to keep the environment clean every day, the citizenry have to do so daily and not on monthly basis, the President stated.
Ghana was in January this year ranked second in Africa in open defecation with 19 percent of its population resorting to risky sanitation practices.
The Tamale Metropolis in the Northern Region has the second highest percentage of people who defecate openly in the country.
Open defecation, which is prevalent in rural and coastal areas, according to health officials, poses a threat to human health because it has fatal consequences for the most vulnerable, including children.
A 2012 World Bank report said open defecation costs Ghana over $79 million a year, and estimated that one in five Ghanaians defecate openly, while one in seven households in the country has toilet facilities.
At the launch of the National Sanitation Campaign by government, UNICEF Country representative, Rushnan Murtaza, warned it would take Ghana 90 years to end open defecation if action is not expedited.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri