The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR) is to facilitate the constructionof 200,000 toilets by 2023 to complement the toilet stock in the country, the Deputy Minister, Issahaku Chinnia Amidu, has said.
This, he said could be achieved by pursuing aggressively the one-house one toilet initiative to ensure households have decent toilets in homes.
He told Parliament in a statement to commemorate World Toilet Day that Ghana was committed to ending open defaecation and achieving access to ‘safely-managed’ sanitation for all by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) paying special attention to the needs of women and girls.
He, however, said progress made to date had not been fast enough, and that this needed to change.
WTD is observed every year on November 19 by all United Nations member countries to undertake various advocacy and awareness raising activities to remind their citizens of the need to own and use hygienic toilets at their homes, schools and workplaces.
Similarly, the action aims at breaking the taboo around toilets and to raise global awareness of the daily struggle for proper toilets that a staggering 2.5 billion people around the world face.
Mr Chinnia said the main reason for the commemoration was to unite everybody who was passionate about toilets to ensure that access to improved toilets, which was declared a Human Right issue by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on July 28, 2010, became a reality for all.
“The theme for this year’s commemoration,“Sanitation and Groundwater”, and the campaign tag “Making the Invisible Visible” are carefully selected to drum home the direct correlation between sanitation and groundwater sources.
Juxtaposing this theme with the fact that a whopping 18 per cent of households in Ghana still practised open defaecation or do not have access to toilets at all should be a major concern for all public-spirited Ghanaians,he stated.
He emphasised the importance of toilets in the lives of every Ghanaian and the need for everybody to build, own and use improved toilet facilities at home, adding that it was critical for people and institutions to understand that the moment one person practised open defecation, everybody’s life was endangered.
The deputy minister lamented how a silent crisis was taking place and seriously affecting the health, wellbeing, dignity and development of millions of people.
“We want all Ghanaians to reflect on the difference between life with a toilet at home and life without a toilet at home. Let us imagine a day without a toilet facility in the life of a school child, especially a girl child,” the deputy minister said.
BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY