Ghana has been named among the top 10 countries worldwide with the highest percentage of 85.7 of its population without decent toilets.
This equals about 23 million people who suffer the fear and indignity of relieving themselves in the open or in unsafe or unhygienic toilets.
This is contained in a report entitled ‘Out of Order’ released by WaterAid, an international Non-Governmental Organization on its 2017 state of the world’s toilets.
According to the report, copied to the Ghana News Agency by Communications and Campaign Officer of WaterAid Ghana, Miss Yvonne Kafui Nyaku, the lack of decent toilets around the world prevents women and girls from fulfilling their potential.
“Out of Order” is WaterAid’s third-annual analysis of the world’s toilets. It reveals that globally, one in three people still have nowhere decent to go to toilet, and demonstrates how women and girls bear the brunt of this global crisis. For more than 1.1 billion women and girls, this injustice results in an increased risk of poor health, limited education, harassment and even attack.
Among the other findings, all 10 of the world’s worst countries for access to basic sanitation are in sub-Saharan Africa, where only 28 per cent of people have decent toilet, and children here are 14 times more likely to die before the age of five than in developed regions.
The statement indicated that in Djibouti, a major route for refugees from the Yemen war, has the worst figures for open defecation, with a 7.2% increase since 2000.
The report stated “Cambodia has emerged from decades of conflict to become one of the fastest growing economies in Asia. It comes second for progress in reducing open defecation as well as improving access to basic sanitation.”
Miss Nyaku recalled “Between 2000 and 2015, the number of people in the world defecating in the open dropped from 1.2 billion (20 per cent of the global population) to 892 million (12 per cent). Despite this progress, it is still a huge problem, resulting in enough faeces to fill seven bathtubs every second going into the environment untreated”.
She said Ghana recently launched a sanitation campaign aimed at addressing the poor sanitation situation, and that, WaterAid Ghana feared that “without adequate funds, the plans outlined to fight the sanitation menace may not be fully implemented.”
The Communication and Campaign Officer said “in commemoration of World Toilet Day, WaterAid Ghana is calling on government to invest more money and spend it transparently and efficiently, paying particular attention to the needs of women and girls”.
According to her, the NGO further entreats government to promote the value of sanitation for gender equality and female empowerment, and involve women as leaders to ensure solutions address the challenges women and girls face. “Improve coordination to create gender-friendly toilets in all schools, healthcare facilities, work environments and public spaces.” She added.
She said WaterAid also calls on government to “combine plans to improve access to sanitation with efforts to redistribute water and hygiene work, which is predominantly the responsibility of women and girls.”