Gov’t Reveals Plans To Build 1 Million Household Toilets To Curb Open Defecation in Ghana

The Ministry of Sanitation has revealed government’s plans to erect private toilet facilities in Ghana, as an effective measure of addressing open defecation in the country. The Minister of Sanitation, Kofi Adda who made this known, implied that the move is with regards to the threat by World Bank to withdraw its grant support on water and sanitation to Ghana; if measures are not taken to address the country’s sanitation challenges.

Reports making waves in the media suggested a looming withdrawal of the financial giant’s grant support on water and sanitation to the country, as a result of massive environmental pollution, caused by inadequate control of sewage disposal. The World Bank is reportedly unhappy that many Ghanaians still do not have access to basic sanitary facilities, particularly household toilets.

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More so, Ghana as a country has not demonstrated any true political will to tackle the menace of sanitation problems in the country, despite gross negative attention it has gotten internationally.

It is in this regard that the Ghanaian government decided to act on the long lasting menace. In an attempt to do something of great significance, government has decided to provide some private toilet facilities in Ghana. Describing the project as a comprehensive program, Kofi Adda who spoke to Citi News, emphasized on government’s plan to alleviate the gross environmental pollution that has befallen the country.

“If you have a toilet in every house, along the beach areas, open defecation in all the beaches will not be needed anymore,” he explained.

The situation according to Kofi Adda, escalated to the level it is at the moment; due to the absence of bye laws and leniency on the side of authorities, towards widespread acts that encourage pollution in the country. This leniency and ignorance according to him, is the major challenge faced by the Sanitation Ministry in its various attempts to curb the situation.

For this reason, he said government will also engage various stakeholders including young men and women, to ensure that the project is successfully executed. The project is expected to kick off soonest, though no exact date has been given.

Gross Environmental Pollution

It might sound like a joke, but studies have proved that there are more mobile phones than private toilet facilities in Ghana. There are still some areas where people queue up to use a public toilet.

While open defecation still dominates in some rural areas, public pay-per-use toilets are the best alternative for a significant number of people in many low income areas. Reasons given to justify this act ranges from factors like insecure tenure, to space constraints.

The widespread practice of wrongful waste disposal, brought about by unavailability of basic sanitary facilities, has led to gross environmental pollution in the country, hence World Bank’s threat to withdraw its grant support.

But the government of Ghana has decided to act on this menace, by proposing to provide toilet facilities for homes. The Sanitation Minister revealed that the government’s target is 1 million toilet facilities on the national scale. Kofi Adda also said his ministry is considering restructuring the operations of environmental service providers to address challenges associated with sanitation.