General News of Sunday, 23 December 2018
The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources in collaboration with the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) project has hinted the provision of some 18,000 toilet facilities for low income communities and persons in Ghana by end of 2020.
As part of efforts to eradicate the menace of open defecation in the Greater Accra Region, the GAMA project was set up with funding from the World Bank to help the country progress in this regard.
Management of GAMA is confident that in addition to wiping out the practice of open defecation in the country, access to potable water will be provided.
According to statistics presented by GAMA Projects, 15, 400 toilet facilities have been constructed for households in the Greater Accra Region within the past 12 months and with increase in demand, more is expected to be developed.
Open defecation and sanitation have been an issue of concern in the country particularly with Ghana being at the top in terms of countries ranked as the ‘dirtiest’.
The situation necessitated President Akufo-Addo’s vision of making Greater Accra Region the cleanest city in Africa.
Dr. Doris Yaa Dartey a renowned media consultant who spoke to the media at a workshop organised by GAMA under the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, indicated that it is a disgrace for Ghanaians to indulge in open defecation.
She hinted that it is time Ghanaians stop joking with their lives and put an end to open defecation.
“I think for behavioural change to occur one would need to use several strategies, I see this as the beginning and I’m very confident that sooner or later we will reach that critical tipping point at which we would see definite changes … so if the state of Ghana and the assemblies add enforcement to it and insist that every household must have a toilet… and it is enforced and encouraged and there is persuasion, Ghana will get to that point where the news about us on the international level would not be that they don’t have toilets in their homes… that bad image of Ghana must come to an end.”
The management of GAMA hinted that by 2019, additional funding for the establishment of more affordable toilets will be required.
They also mentioned that more drains and sewages are to be constructed at the Mallam, Teshie and Tema areas.
About 106 school toilets have been completed out of a total of 406 under the project.
It was also revealed at the program, that some school heads have been facing challenges with operations and maintenance (security, sanitation, including water).
As a result of these challenges, GAMA is scheduled to launch a leap table to help schools come up with ways of managing school toilets and sanitation.