Ghana as a country still records cholera outbreaks and a lot of diarrhea deaths amongst children and adults as a result of open defecation.
One out of every Five Ghanaians defecate outside a toilet each day, representing close to Six million people who engage in open defecation.
More so, Experts have indicated that the open defecation costs Ghana $79million annually.
The Media Coalition Against Open Defecation made this known on the commemoration of Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day.
According Coalition Ghana was once among the most attractive countries to visit in Africa; but the ranks among seven poorest performing countries in terms of sanitation.
The Convenor of Media Coalition Against Open Defecation, Mr. Emmanuel Addai, said apart from open defecation being an enemy to tourism, it is also the cause of many preventable illnesses like typhoid, malnutrition and stunted growth in children.
“As we continue with the transformation agenda, 61 years after Independence, the Coalition wants to remind the general public of the threat posed by the practice of open defecation to the health of Ghanaians.
We believe that Osagyefo would definitely be disappointed in us if he were to see or feel the way we have managed our sanitation in general, and especially where his beloved Ghana ranks among the league of filthy countries in the world 61 years after his toil,” he stated.
The Media Coalition Against Open Defecation is urging all Ghanaians to reflect on the contributions of the forebears that led to Ghana attaining independence.
“On such a day, the coalition would like to single out the role Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah played by initiating and propelling Ghana on to a path of Socio-economic transformation and how Nkrumah worked tirelessly to ensure Freedom for the oppressed,” he said.
According to Mr. Emmanuel Addai, in order to work towards the attainment of a transformed economy, government needs to provide a national roadmap for the eradication of open defecation at every administrative level, plus enforcement of bylaws by the MMDAs towards this national campaign.
The coalition is also calling for the establishment of a budget line for eradication of open defecation in annual budgets that syncs with the said national road map.
This he said, the coalition is of the view that, Ghana can achieve the universal access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation even before 2025, if more investments are made in improving sanitation facilities in Ghana.
Wishes all Ghanaians a happy holiday as we mark the 109th birthday of the country’s first President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah today.
On this day, the coalition wishes every Ghanaian a happy KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL DAY AND AN OPEN -DEFECATION FREE DAY.
Source Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh