World Toilet Day commemorated in Accra
Access to improved toilet facilities in the country, including shared toilets, has increased from 66 per cent in 2018 to 80.8 per cent this year.
This is as a result of comprehensive policies and initiatives the government has initiated over the past six years to ensure greater access to safe drinking water and toilet facilities.
Under the Greater Accra Sustainable Sanitation and Livelihoods Improvement Project (GASSLIP), 5,000 household toilets have been provided in the region, as well as 60 institutional toilet facilities.
In addition, about 300,000 toilets have been constructed under programmes supported by development partners such as the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Bank, Global Communities, the World Vision and the African Development Bank.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Dr Freda Akosua Prempeh, at an event to commemorate the World Toilet Day at Mpoase Community Park in the Ablekumah West District in Accra yesterday.
The day is marked on November 19 every year to shed light on the importance of toilets and the challenges faced by people worldwide in accessing such critical service.
It was on the theme: “Accelerating change through strategic partnership: Every contribution counts.”
In spite of the strides the nation has made, the minister said many citizens were still grappling with limited access to toilets.
She said the situation was affecting communities, impacting on public health, straining the environment and also posing obstacles to economic development.
As at the 2021, according to the 2021 Population and Housing Census, open defecation in urban areas stood at nine per cent, while nationwide it was almost 17.7 per cent.
This means that nearly one out of every 10 residents in urban areas practise open defecation, while 25 per cent of urban population depend on public toilets.
“Let us reflect on the power of collaboration since the government and other stakeholders have unique roles to play in leveraging our strengths and shared resources to create sustainable solutions,” Dr Prempeh said.
The Municipal Chief Executive for Ablekuma West Municipal Assembly, George Cyril Bray, said there was the need to address the situation by identifying strategic ways to promote ownership of household toilets.
He gave an assurance that the assembly would continue to sensitise people and promote the construction of household toilets.