5million Ghanaians Shit In Open

More than five million Ghanaians still practice open defecation every day, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Alhaji Collins Dauda, has disclosed.

According to him, available reports indicate that only 15% of improved household toilets have been achieved as against the country’s Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of 54%.

He averred that these and other situations had no doubt, culminated in the low rating of the country as having failed to achieve its MDG.

The minister made the disclosure at a press briefing at the conference room of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to mark the 2015 World Toilet Day (WTD) on Tuesday under the theme, ‘Access to Toilets: Health and Nutrition.’

The World Toilet Day celebration is an event instituted by the United Nations for countries to undertake various activities to remind their citizens of the need to use hygienic toilets at home.

As part of measures to help the country achieve its target in the coming year, Alhaji Collins Dauda announced the launch of the ‘Sanitation Challenge for Ghana.’

The Sanitation Challenge is a programme aimed among other things, at promoting competition among Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and motivate them to team up with the citizens, innovators and problem solvers to design and implement waste management strategies which will transform and improve the lives of vulnerable groups in Ghana’s urban centres.

He added that the ministry was also willing to solicit more ideas from the public to ensure that the country achieves the set global target. It will also enforce existing bye-laws, implement policies and strategies and scale up field activities.

The minister expressed satisfaction that already the Volta, Upper West and Northern Regions had started a process to declare district-wide open defecation status by 2016 or 2017.

He also directed the other MMDAs to submit their respective roadmaps to enable them fit into the intended plans, adding that the emphasis is on helping households to own their own toilets in the towns and the cities.

In Ghana the day, which falls on November 19, 2015, will be celebrated by all the MMDAs at various locations with a number of activities to sensitize the public on the use of hygienic toilets at home or the workplace, churches, schools and other public places.

By Solomon Ofori

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