Ghana is improving moderately in achieving set targets for the goal six of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said Mr Godfred Fiifi Boadi, a Senior Public Health Engineer, Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources.
The United Nations SDGs Six drives countries around the globe to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable water for all and achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and also ends open defecation by 2030.
That notwithstanding, he said, the country’s water and sanitation sectors were still confronted with huge pressing challenges, which required collective efforts to tackle, push and well-position Ghana to achieve the Global Goals Six.
Just about eight years to go, Mr. Boadi expressed regret that many Ghanaian households still lacked access to improved household and public toilets, as well as potable drinking water, saying only 60 per cent of the country’s 8.4 million households had toilet facilities.
This implies more than five million people representing 17.7 percent of 1.6 million households practice Open Defecation (ODF), and mostly common in rural areas.
Mr. Boadi was speaking at a day’s national delegates training workshop for members of the Ghana WASH Journalists Network (GWJN), a pool of media practitioners passionate in reporting on water and sanitation at Dodowa in the Greater Accra Region.
The Roddenberry Foundation’s +1 Global Fund, sponsored the training, and attended by 30 selected media practitioners, drawn from selected regions of the country.
Mr. Boadi said bold action and massive advocacy were required, if the nation could achieve ODF-free status by 2030, and called for a lot more interventions.
Another unacceptable practice, he added was the use of pan latrines, worrying that though the Supreme Court disbanded the use of pan latrine in in 2020, the practice was still persisting in some parts of the country.
Mr Justice Lee Adoboe, the National Coordinator of the GWJN, said sanitation and water played critical role in the nation’s bid towards achieving outlined targets of the UN SDGs, and called on the media to endeavour to carry reliable information from policy makers to consumers and collect realistic data as well.
“As WASH journalists there is a clarion call on us to strengthen our foundation and re-strategise in ensuring that universal access to safe water and improved toilets facilities in households, institutions and entire society”, he advised.