Government has announced it will from next year pursue a ‘Toilet for All’ agenda in a bid to end open defecation in the country.
Consequent to that, it will provide 200,000 household toilets and 20,000 institutional latrines to selected communities, Finance Minister Ken Ofor-Atta announced in the 2018 Budget statement presented to Parliament Wednesday.
The initiative which would be under the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, he said, forms part of government’s larger programme on sanitation management.“The Ministry 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 defacation,” Mr. Ofori-Atta said.
Nations signatories to the SDG should achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and end open defecation by 2030.
Ghana was in January this year ranked as second in Africa in open defecation with 19 per cent of its population resorting to sanitation practice deemed the riskiest of all.
The Tamale Metropolis in the Northern Region is the second highest percentage of people who defecate in the open in the country.
The practice, which is prevalent in rural and coastal areas, according to health officials, poses one of the greatest dangers 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 dollars a year, and estimated, that one in five Ghanaians defecate openly, whilst only one in seven house-holds in the country have toilet facilities.
At the launch of the National Sanitation Campaign by government last Monday, UNICEF country representative, Ms. Rushnan Murtaza, warned it would take Ghana 90 years to end open defecation if efforts are not doubled.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana