Only 27% of households in Ashanti, Northern, Volta regions said to have toilet facilities

Only 27% of households in the Ashanti, Northern, and Volta regions have toilet facilities in their homes, a study carried out recently by the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Cost, Ghana, has revealed.

Dr Kwabena Nyarko, Direcor of the WASH Cost, Ghana, who disclosed on Thursday at the 30th National Level Learning Alliance Platform (NLLAP) meeting in Accra, said 1,273 households were surveyed in three regions.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme, sanitation coverage in Ghana in 2010 was 14% (excluding shared latrines) and 72% when shared latrines were included.

Dr Nyarko, who is also a lecturer at the Department of Civil Engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology noted that in rural areas, access toliet facilities was even lower and disaggregated, noting improved sanitation facilities, 18%; shared latrines, 43%; other unimproved latrines, 16%; and open defecation, 33%.

He explained that the rationale was that the WASH governance would improve at all levels, as decision makers and stakeholders analyzed the costs of sustainable, equitable and efficient services and put their knowledge to use.

He said WASH Ghana was working in partnership with the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) Ghana, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and other sector institutions to promote its activities.

Dr Nyarko said WASH Cost, a five-year action research programme on water, sanitation and health projects, was researching the life-cycle costs in rural and peri-urban areas in Ghana.

He said the partners had developed a methodology for costing sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services by assessing life-cycle costs and comparing them against levels of service provided.

He stated that the aim of the life-cycle costs approach was to catalyse learning to improve the quality, targeting and cost effectiveness of service delivery.

Dr Nyarko observed that the WASH Cost study in Ghana was carried out in 31 rural communities, four small towns and 1,373 household survey case studies in 17 small towns focusing on cost.

He mentioned that the WASH Cost focussed on districts and regions were Ketu South in the Volta, Bosomtwe in the Ashanti and East Gonja in the Northern Regions.

He said WASH Cost believed the cost information was essential for proper planning, budgeting and implementation of sustainable WASH services.

“However, there is currently little systematic collection or use of information in Ghana’s rural sector and to develop a true understanding of the cost of delivering services, it is essential to look not at just the initial capital investment cost of providing new boreholes or latrines, but also at all the other costs related to managing this hardware to deliver a service,” he said.

Madam Vida Duti, Country Director of IRC  International Water and Sanidation Centre in Ghana, said most of their research findings had been accepted by government and was championing their implementation.

Ms Catarina Fonseca, WASH Cost Global Director, said there was the need for water, sanitation and hygiene to be made a right globally for man kind.

Mr Fredrick Addai, Water Director of the Ministry of Water Resources, Work and Housing called on the media to take up issues bothering on water, sanitation and health seriously so that proper budgetary allocations would be made to them by stakeholders.

Mr Emmanuel Nkrumah of the World Bank-Ghana said Ghanaians must endeavour to put their knowledge on water, sanitation and hygiene to practice.

He noted that this year alone the World Bank had committed over $75 million into rural and WASH projects in Ghana.

Source: GNA

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