Open defecation costs Ghana over 79 million dollars a year, a 2012 World Bank report says.
It is also estimated, that one in five Ghanaians defecate openly, whilst only one in seven house-holds in the country have toilet facilities.
Madam Rushnan Murtaza, a representative of UNICEF, said this at the launch of the National Sanitation Campaign, which took place on Monday in Accra.
She said unless the pace of solving the problem was quickened, it is estimated that Ghana would take about 90 years to end open defecation.
Madam Murtaza described the launch as a major stepping stone and said the development partners, supported President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufu Addo’s goal of leaving no one behind in the development of the country.
She urged government to sustain the campaign adding that resources for the campaign needed to be allocated to where they were most needed.
Madam Murtaza said the impact of the campaign should be directly seen in its results.
Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, said with some innovation, waste management is one area that holds great potential for job creation.
This is because most of what is considered as waste could rather be used as a wealth generation resource, he said.
Mr Adda said in countries where waste was well regenerated, only ten percent of waste material was thrown away, adding that in
Singapore for example, only two percent of that country’s waste was gotten rid of, with the rest being recycled into useful products.
The Minister said this system of dealing with waste, known as the “Circular Economy of Waste Management”, was what Ghana is targeting.
Mr Adda said it took some other factors to achieve such productive waste management methods, such as enabling policies, the right human resource, the needed technological support amongst others.
He said although waste management has been a problem in the country over the years, there was an on-going capacity building efforts to support the new ministry, to deal with the situation.
Mr Ron Strikker, the Netherlands Ambassador, commended President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo and the government for the initiative adding that a clean country held the potential for increased economic growth.
He said a clean country attracted investors who contributed greatly to the socio-economic growth of any country.
He said it is important that every citizen was well aware of the campaign because that made it much more effective.
The launch was done by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo.