The Ministry of Tourism, Art and Culture is to spearhead the provision of toilet facilities at beaches across the country as part of measures by government to curb open defecation and promote tourism.
Additionally, a taskforce with representatives from the traditional authorities, would be set up to arrest and sanction people who ease themselves at the beaches.
The sector minister, Catherine Afeku, who announced this during a tour of some coastal areas in the Central Region on Tuesday, bemoaned the effect of open defecation on tourism adding that efforts would be made to stop it.
The tour was to ascertain the state of open defecation in the region and to reinforce the commitment of the government to the fight against the menace and its associated problems.
Open defecation is a critical issue in the region with over 200 communities identified to be engaging in the practice. A number of economic losses have also been attributed to the practice.
The Multiple Indication Cluster Survey in 2010 says over five million Ghanaians defecate in the open every day and Central Region constitutes quite a significant number.
The Regional Sanitation Office has since 2010 been working on a programme implementation intended for communities to attain open defecation free status by themselves.
Accompanied by officials from the ministry and GTA, the Minister visited the Cape Coast and the Elmina beachfronts and interacted with the traditional councils of the two coastal towns on how to curb the menace.
Mrs. Afeku did not give timelines for the toilet projects, but said the ministry would collaborate with the Ministries of Water and Sanitation, and Special Initiatives as well as other relevant public and private institutions to execute it.
With the toilet facilities in place, she noted that residents of coastal communities would no longer hide behind the excuse of unavailability of toilets to deface the beachfronts.
Aside ending the menace, the facilities, she said, would also help provide jobs for the teeming youth in the coastal communities while proceeds could be channelled into other developmental projects.
The omanhene of the Oguaa Traditional Area, Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, commended the ministry and pledged the support of the Council, saying it would soon roll out some measures to end the nuisance.
He said he had called for the support of Waste Management experts Zoomlion and other stakeholders to enable the council to also provide movable toilet facilities at the shores.
The Omanhene of the Edina Traditional Area, Nana Kodwo Conduah-VI, said measures have already been put in place to ensure sanitation remains the top priority in the community.
He said a taskforce had been set up to ensure that people who are caught littering are made to pay an amount of 150 cedis aside series of communal labour in the area.
By Adwoa Adobea-Owusu|3news.com|Ghana