Nima, Ashiaman, others hold crisis talks on sanitation
Representatives of Nima, Ashiaman, Ada and Mallam communities at a crisis talk on sanitation and hygiene, on Monday described the sanitary conditions in their localities as devastating and endangering human lives.
They said open and indiscriminate defecation is rampant while open gutters at lorry stations and markets centres are choked with polythene bags stuffed with human excreta.
Mr Lumor Gershon, Mallam Wash Chairman, said indiscriminate dumping and open defecation had hit the highest degree of about 80 per cent while Nima representative said it is about 90 per cent, attributing the situation to lack of public toilet facilities and sanitary containers.
He said the situation was compounded with the improper housing layout, erratic flow of pipe borne water and failure of policy makers to engage communities in the initiation, implementation and monitoring of projects.
Nii Annang Adzor, Chief of Ashaiman blamed the situation on weak enforcement of assemblies’ sanitation-related bylaws, sheer indiscipline, corruptible attitude and break down in traditional values and lack of public education.
He called for immediate government intervention and intensive public education on the need for safe and clean environment and the construction of toilet facility in each household.
According to WaterAid, a non-governmental organisation one gram of human excreta could contain 10 million viruses, one million bacteria, one thousand parasite cysts and 100 parasite eggs.
When people do not have clean water and effective sanitation pathogens flourish causing infectious diseases.
The communities called for bylaws on sanitation to ensure compliance and decontamination of the environment.
Today marks world toilet day, a day set aside on every November 19 to raise awareness and mobilise action that could save millions of lives resulting from lack of toilets and poor sanitation.
About 22 million people are lacking access to adequate toilet in Ghana, with devastating consequences for their wellbeing, health, education and empowerment of women and girls.
While over four out of five women in Ghana risk shame, disease, harassment and even attack because they have nowhere safe to go to toilet, more than two million women have no choice but to go to toilet in the open.
Dr Chak Uzondu, Policy Manager of WaterAid Ghana said in spite of the horrifying situation, sanitation is marginalised with low public discourse to find practical solutions.
He called on government to increase funding for initiation and implementation of sanitation policies at both national and local levels.
He also urged the media to find more interesting ways of raising public discourse on the matter.