A GNA news feature by Maxwell Awumah, GNA
GNA - Afadjato South and Kadjebi Districts have been ranked top of the
cumulative Open Defaecation Free (ODF) league table for the Volta and Oti
According to a
Government of Ghana-UNICEF WASH Implementation Programme Report ending quarter
two, Adaklu and Nkwanta North placed second across the two Regions with Kpando
Municipal and Jasikan occupying the third spots.
The study made
available to the Ghana News Agency, said 532 out of 4,553 communities were part
of entities that had received support from various sanitation partners to
improve household sanitation coverage and to eliminate open defaecation,
translating into 12 per cent coverage, an indication that the June 2019 target
date for the attainment of a Region-wide ODF has been missed.
position out of 16 in the Volta Region is occupied by Hohoe, Akatsi South,
North Dayi, South Dayi, Ketu North, Ho West, Ho, Keta, Akatsi North, Ketu
South, Central Tongu, North Tongu and South Tongu, while the rest of the Oti
region has Nkwanta South, Krachi East, Biakoye, Krachi West and Krachi Nchumuru
placement in that order.
Mr Joshua K. D.
Ofosuhene, Volta Regional WASH Consultant, said WASH is one of UNICEF’s child survival
initiatives targeted at ensuring that all children have a right to survive,
thrive and fulfill their potential to the benefit of a better world.
He said its
overall objective is to support the attainment of SDG targets by 2030, with
Goal Six specifically ensuring availability and sustainable management of Water
and Sanitation for all, which again touches Goal 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 16.
said open defaecation is degrading, offensive, demeaning, outdated and not
acceptable, calling for commitment from stakeholders and attitudinal change
from the people.
indicators to be met include achieving a universal and equitable access to safe
and affordable drinking water for all, as well as achieving access to adequate
and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end Open Defaecation.
indicated that whereas the three northern UNICEF supported regions were
improving in reducing their open defaecation rates, it was increasing in the
two southern regions including Volta (24.5-38%) and Central (14.80-17%) due to
lack of commitment from duty bearers, according to the Multiple Indicator
Cluster Survey (MICS) 2017/2018 report.
The MICS report
targeted 79 per cent access to basic service for drinking water with the
Volta/Oti Regions recording (59%); 21 per cent access to basic sanitation with
14 per cent for Volta/Oti, whereas 22 per cent practice Open Defaecation (31%
deliverables include greater strides by some districts in the results-based
financing (RBF) implementation phase with commitment and support from some
District Chief Executives and traditional leaders shaping good impact.
have supported the implementation process with logistics such as apparel,
motorbikes and phones, others resorting to speedy disbursement of
implementation funds and some providing accurate data.
enumerated weak oversight and ownership of interventions by institutions with
the established mandates, non-gazetted and/or weak enforcement of sanitation
bye-laws, and ‘interferences’ as challenges befalling the scheme.
limited human resource to engage communities, poor commitment and ‘apathy’
towards programmes success and reporting among MDAs as well as mobility of
recommended working towards a revised and more practical date for Region-wide
ODF attainment and promotes avenues for learning, sharing and accountability,
and increase advocacy for stronger leadership drive and ownership.
It called for
the re-launch of updated Regional League Table to motivate well performing
Assemblies, and also create competition.
Quansah, Programme Officer of the Environmental Health and Sanitation
Directorate (EHSD) of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development,
said the rate of open defecation in the country ranks among the highest in the
currently, 19 out of every 100 Ghanaians openly defecate daily and blamed
colonisation for the open defeacation nuisance explaining, “It is one of the
colonial legacies bequeathed to Ghana.
times, owning a toilet was perceived as prestige and something for the affluent
in society but popularised the construction of communal latrines for the
“Usage of these
public latrines was largely free but consequently metamorphosed into privatized
commercial ventures, which became too expensive for the people to access, hence
the preference to openly defaecate.
costs the country 79 million dollars annually, whereas it would require less
than a million latrines to eliminate the scourge, according to figures released
by the Water and Sanitation Programme of the World Bank, making the country the
fifth highest among 18 African countries analysed by the Bank.
has led to epidemic disease outbreaks like cholera and other water-borne
diseases, especially when human excreta and urine contaminates drinking water
statistics from the Ghana Health Service, cholera continued to claim several
lives out of the total of 5,614 cases recorded nationwide in 2015, with five
regions having reported the outbreak, including, Greater Accra, Central,
Eastern, Upper West and the Northern regions, giving a death rate of 1.5
Gordon, Director, Institute of Environment and Sanitation, University of Ghana,
Legon, said 16 million Ghanaians used unsanitary or shared latrines while 4.8
million had no latrines at all and defecated in the open.
“The poorest is
22 times more likely to practice open defecation than the rich.”
He said the
approach needed to address issues of relevance and applicability to national
development needs, with emphasis on knowledge creation and better understanding
of processes and interaction as well as cost-effective innovation must lead the
Samuel Afrane, a land economist highlighting on slums and peri-urban trends
said “large proportions of population in West Africa lived in slums and in
Ghana, according to 2001 statistics 4.1 million Ghanaians lived in slums. This
number increased to 5.5 per cent in 2008 and showing positive trends of rise.
He said 51 per
cent of Ghana’s population lived in the cities, which are not well-planned,
which is expected to rise to 58.5 percent in 2020, with the trend continuing.
identified lack of urban and regional planning systems to curtail movement of
people; use of obsolete planning technology and inadequate human resources;
unresolved legislative conflicts and inconsistencies as well as poor
coordination among urban development actors as factors increasing the number of
slums and associated sanitary problems.
“We cannot deal
with slums in a hit-and-run manner, it must be dealt with holistically,” he
Settlement’s advocate, Mr Farouk Braimah, suggested to major players in the
industry to adopt lower-cost technologies to provide good quality and
affordable sanitation and housing facilities for the increasing population.
called for concerted efforts to develop all-inclusive cities where everybody’s
sanitation needs would be well catered for.
The problem of
open defeacation and associated insanitary conditions in Ghana’s cities have
become recyclical in nature as city authorities are compelling landlord through
enactment of bye-laws to construct new toilet facilities for their tenants with
the provision of incentive packages.
that some are busily expanding the existing toilets into rentable rooms making
efforts to stem the tide a non-starter.