Mrs Cynthia Prah, National Information Officer; United Nations Information Centre, on Friday called on government to ensure that pan latrines and KVIP’s are completely eradicated in the country for a safe environment.
She said even though the pan latrines have been banned, some still existed as well as KVIP’s and therefore called for the need to put in place strict measures for building contractors, structures and house owners to ensure that good toilet facilities were provided.
Mrs Prah was speaking at an interactive forum for school children to mark this year’s World Toilet Day celebrations in Accra, which was on the theme: “Wastewater”.
The World Toilet Day falls on November 19, with the question: “Where Does Your Poo Go? Which seeks to highlight on the need, to make wastewater beneficial to human existence.
She said toilet or poo got out into the environment and spreads killer-diseases which were seriously undermining progress in health and child survival.
For these reasons, she said government needed to ensure that whatever people brought out were managed effectively to help put a stop to open defecation.
She said 869 million people worldwide practice open defecation and have no toilet facilities at all as well as many people using unimproved sources of drinking water with no protection against contamination from faeces.
She added that only 39 per cent of the global population used safely managed sanitation services, that were excreta safely disposed of in situ or treated off-site.
Combined with safe water and good hygiene, improved sanitation could prevent around 842,000 deaths each year according to a research by the World Health Organization (WHO), Mrs Prah stated.
She therefore said to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6), everyone’s poo needed to be contained, transported, treated and disposed of in a safe and sustainable way.
In as much as government was playing its part, people needed to change their mindset with regards to open defecation and be made aware of the dangers associated with it, this according to her would help change the situation.
“Constant education and awareness creation will lead us there because if not we might think open defecation is normal as it is the perception of some people but it is not,” she said.
This year’s World Toilet Day awareness is in line with the Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring that everyone has access to, and uses, safely managed sanitation services.
This, she said, first of all started from people’s willingness as individuals to improve sanitation and hygiene in their communities.