Prime News Ghana

Ghana has made zero progress in fighting open defecation - Group

By Wendy Amarteifio
open defecation
Some persons engaging in open defecation
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Members of the Environmental Service Providers Association and the Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) has stated that Ghana has made zero progress in the fight against open defecation and plastic waste management.

According to the groups, the country in the past years has stagnated at 22% in the fight since 1990.

Addressing a joint news conference today, Vice Chairman of CONIWAS Atta Arhin raised concerns on how sanitation issues are being tackled in the country indicating Ghana has made zero progress in fighting open defecation and plastic waste management.

''Currently, less than 2% of the over 1 million tons of plastic that we generate annually in this country is recycled, in terms of liquid waste, access to basic sanitation in Ghana is estimated at only 21 % in other words only 21% of the population in Ghana has access to improved toilet facilities. The rest don't have and this is broken down as follows;17% for rural and 25% for urban areas''.

''Open defecation remains unacceptably high at 22%, so 22% of the population defecate in the open on a daily basis. Either they don't have a toilet facility or they find the open spaces more comfortable to defecate. But whether they find it comfortable or not the country should not make that a safe haven for them.In 1990,open defecation rate was 22% ,2011 open defecation rate was 22% ,in 2018 open defecation rate is 22%.So it means that as a country you are not making any progress''.

READ ALSO:N/R : Yendi declared best open defecation free district

However, in a related development, last month (February 2020) Country Representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Anne-Claire Dufay stated that Ghana needs to do more to end open defecation and achieve the Sustainable Development Goal on Sanitation ((SDG 6) by 2030.

She said the country made significant progress in recent years towards attaining Open Defecation free status and improved sanitation in some parts of the country.

The Country Director of UNICEF said in spite of the progress many communities continued to struggle with access to improved and decent toilet facilities and therefore called for more efforts to ensure the realisation of the Open Defecation Free (ODF) objective by the stipulated year.