The Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (GKMA)‘s Sanitation and Water Project under the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources is in talks with the government for support to scale up the one house one toilet project to all the regions in the country.
The World Bank sponsored project would come to an end in 2024, and according to the Project Coordinator, George Asiedu, there was the need to continue to increase access to improved sanitation and quality water supply for low income families in the country.
So far, he said, 3,782 household toilets had been provided within 10 months in the GKMA which include the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), Asokwa, Oforikrom, Old Tafo, Suame, Kwadaso, and the Asokore Mampong Municipal Assembly (AMMA).
By the end of the project, 30,000 household toilet facilities are expected to be provided in the GKMA.
MrAsiedusaid though we appreciated the efforts made in 10 months, he maintained “we are far from target and much more input needed.”
He was speaking to the media during the ‘Walk for Clean Ghana Agenda in Kumasi,’ as part of the Ghana Water, Sanitation and Hygiene(WASH) week celebration.
Under the theme, “Pursuing Greater Prioritisation and Behaviour Change for Sustainable Safe Drinking Water and Environmental Sanitation,” the walk was organised by the Coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS).
The Sanitation and Water project is part of the government’s determination to provide pragmatic measures to find a lasting solution to the water and sanitation problems in the Greater Kumasi.
Mr Asiedu said the project aimed at supporting citizens of Kumasi to have access to improved toilet facilities and to stop open defecation “which is a major cause of sanitation-related diseases in any environment where people defecate openly.”
He mentioned that though it targeted the GKMA, District Assemblies sharing borders were also benefitting “hence the need to seek government’s support to scale up the project to all regions in the country.”
Mr Yaw Attah Arhin, Chairman of CONIWAS, indicated that Ghana had made remarkable strides in delivering safe drinking water to its citizens, but “unfortunately, the same cannot be said about environmental sanitation.”
He opined that Ghana’s poor sanitation situation was a function of poor prioritisation and limited commitment and low national consciousness which resulted in limited financing, weak enforcement of the laws and bye-laws, weak institutional arrangements, poor implementation of policies and strategies and negative attitude of citizens.
Mr Attah Arhin called for a review and implementation of the National Sanitation Campaign which was launched by the President on November 13, 2017 with a commitment to transform both liquid and solid waste management in the country.
He called for the establishment of the National Sanitation Authority (NSA) together with the National Sanitation Fund (NSF) and the introduction of an innovative programme and a financing model which would facilitate access to household and institutional toilet facilities and improved waste management across the country.
Mr Arhin stressed the need for adequate support for the operations of the liquid and solid waste management companies in the sanitation value chain including providing them with access to credit facilities and a tax regime that would enable them to procure new and efficient state-of-the-art equipment for their work.
He called for strict enforcement and the building code and bye-laws developed by Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to ensure that every building, including households, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, commercial buildings, lorry parks, markets, and recreational facilities complied.
Mr Arhin appealed for the institution of a Presidential Special Initiative on improved sanitation in Ghana.
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI