The Chief Officer at the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH, Unit of UNICEF Ghana, David Duncan, says Ghana may spend the next 500 years in its attempt at eliminating open defecation due to the slow pace at which strategies, laws and interventions are being implemented.
Speaking at a workshop in Cape Coast for members of the Parliamentary Press Corps on open defecation Mr.Duncan said presently, three out of five Ghanaians practice open defecation,that is attending to natures call in the bush, at the beach, in drains and dump sites.
He noted that in the last 25 years, the country moved forward by only one percent in the fight against the practice across the country.
The Chief Officer at the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH Unit of UNICEF, Ghana, David Duncan said even though the current pace is not encouraging, it is possible for Ghana to achieve an Open Defecation Free society within the four-year national target if actions are expedited on all fronts.
To attain the 2020 target of having Open Defecation Free society, he emphasized the need to fast-track attitudinal and behavioral changes among the target groups while building regulations are strictly enforced to ensure that every household is forced to have toilet facilities.
The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Ebo Barton Odro said having an Open Defecation Free society is achievable if landlords would build toilet facilities in their homes.
Mr. Odro underscored the need to create sustainable sanitation infrastructure in the Country to help address the menace.
He entreated all to be involved in the fight against open defecation adding that Ghanaians should not continue to practice open defecation in a civilized society.
The FIRST Deputy Speaker expressed sadness about the fact that Ghana is lagging behind countries like Mali and Burkina Faso in the fight against Open Defecation.
UNICEF is supporting the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in implementing an Open Defecation Free initiative. It called for a Community-led Total Sanitation in the Central, Volta, Northern, Upper East and West as well as the Greater Accra regions.
The initiative is an approach that focuses on a change from open defecation as a norm to the use of toilet facilities as the new norm.