UNICEF and partners launch scheme to address urban sanitation challenges

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Environmental

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and its partners have launched a new sanitation fund to address basic sanitation challenges in Ghana’s urban communities, the UN agency said in a release on Wednesday.

The fund, which is currently being rolled out in three districts in Ghana, is an innovative and affordable loan scheme for urban dwellers to construct their own household toilet.

The loans for household toilets, which are being offered with an operational fee of 12 per cent and with less demanding lending criteria than other loans products, have the potential to change the landscape of urban sanitation for thousands of families, UNICEF said.

The UNICEF Representative in Ghana Anne-Claire Dufay said her outfit was committed to continuing working with the Ghanaian government, development partners and other actors to make Ghana a much cleaner country, where families can enjoy a dignified life.

Ghana’s Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources Cecilia Abena Dapaah said in the country’s search for practical scalable solutions to its sanitation challenges, a revolving fund presents one of the best options, but without repayment of loans this potential immediately drops.

According to the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana Ron Strikker, access to finance is necessary in the sanitation sub-sector so as to give access to sanitation service delivery and stir up entrepreneurship in the sanitation business.

There are approximately four million households in Ghana who do not have a toilet for exclusive use by their family.

While access to basic sanitation has increased from 21 percent to 25 percent in urban areas, statistics have proven that it is the poorest who are more likely to practice open defecation.

The establishment of this new loan initiative is expected to provide many households in urban communities the opportunity to build their own toilet. Enditem

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