Expert advocates dry toilets in Ghana

Public toiletsFinland-based Lahti Region Development (LADEC) Limited on Thursday observed that dry toilets could help address Africa’s sanitation challenges.

Ms Anna Aalto, Project Coordinator of the North- South Local Government Coordination Programme of sister city partnership involving the City of Lahti (Finland), Ho (Ghana) and Bojanala Platinum (South Africa) said such facilities are crucial to eradicate open defecation and its related health challenges.

She made the observation at a day’s capacity building workshop for environmental health officers in Ho, on the prospects of dry toilets.

Dry toilets use natural processes to turn human excreta into manure and with little or no water potential pathogens are killed by a variety of processes, including die-off and predation by other microorganisms.

African Development Bank Group said a third of Africans practice open defecation.

Statistics published by the World Health Organisation (WHO)/United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 2012 shows that only 15 per cent representing 3.7 million Ghanaians have access to clean, safe improved toilets in their homes.

Also 58 per cent of the population share toilets with their neighbours or use public toilets and another 4.6 million Ghanaians defecate in the open daily.

This threatens the country’s efforts at achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) related to sanitation.

Ms Aalto described dry toilets as environmentally friendly, ecologically and socially safe and recommended it to African leaders and local governments to improve sanitation on the continent.

She said more than 400,000 summer houses use dry toilets in Finland with many more adopting the concept with improved technologies in urban areas.

Ms Aalto said apart from its cost effectiveness, excreta and urine could be used to enhance agricultural production.

“You don’t need water to flush toilets and you get a lot of nutrients in urine. Faeces are good when used as compost. Compost fertilizer is safe, effective and has no heavy metals,” she noted.

Ms Aalto said proper use of end products of dry toilets could lead to the revolution of the agricultural sector on the Continent.

She said pilot projects across the Continent are doing well and called for the adoption of the concept in Ghana.

Four basic schools in Ho and some communities are piloting the project.

Ho Polytechnic is also applying the manure on some crops and plants on experimental basis.

Some environmental officers who spoke to the Ghana News Agency expressed the  hope that the adoption of the concept would reduce the challenges of dumping sites.

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.