“You shall have a place outside the camp, and you shall go out to it. And you shall have a trowel with your tools, and when you sit down outside, you shall dig a hole with it and turn back and cover up your excrement.
Because the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you and to give up your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy, so that he may not see anything indecent among you and turn away from you.” Deuteronomy 23:12-14 ESV
Globally, 4.2 billion people live without “safely managed sanitation” and around 673 million people practice open defecation.
The UN General Assembly officially declared 19th November every year World Toilet Day to inform, engage and inspire people to take action toward achieving this goal – ensuring that everybody, everywhere has access to a decent toilet facility, and ending open defecation.
Toilets are important because access to a safe functioning toilet has a positive impact on public health, human dignity, and personal safety, especially for women.
A 2010 UNICEF report indicates that one Gram of human faeces can contain 10 million viruses, 1 million bacteria, 1,000 parasite cysts and 100 parasite eggs and disease causing germs.
World Vision Ghana, a child-focused, Christian relief, development and advocacy organization is working towards improving the poor sanitation situation in the country and wants government to take urgent steps to reduce child mortality resulting from diarrheal cases.
It is quite unfortunate that, for a Lower Middle Income Country, only 21% of Ghana’s population has access to improved toilet facilities, while 22% practice open defecation (MICS 2017/18).
Indeed, the open defecation situation has not seen any improvement since 1990. Also alarming is the fact that 30% of all public basic schools in the country lack access to a decent toilet facility.
These have negative consequences for child health and pose a serious threat to effective teaching and learning.
To accelerate improvement in the country’s unfortunate sanitation situation, World Vision Ghana urges government to, as a matter of urgency:
Develop and implement a national roadmap and costed strategy for ending open defecation and bridging the access gap in household and school toilet facilities.
Work in partnership with relevant stakeholders to implement a sustained Behavior Change and Social Norms Campaign.
Introduce a Presidential special initiative on ending open defecation and increasing access to improved toilet facilities, with key performance indicators for all relevant political office holders.
Accelerate the pace towards establishing a National Sanitation Authority which sector players consider a Game-Changer in the fight against poor sanitation.
World Vision Ghana remains committed to working in partnership with government, development partners and all relevant stakeholders to improve the sanitation situation in the country.
World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Inspired by our Christian values, we are dedicated to working with the world’s most vulnerable people.
Our vision for every child, life in all its fullness.
Our prayer for every heart, the will to make it so.