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85% of Ghanaians without toilets

Ghana has been ranked seventh globally with worse access to toilet. According to a new report by Water Aid, the ranking means about 85% of Ghanaians are living without access to safe and private toilets.

The UN defines an improved toilet or latrine as a facility that hygienically separates human waste from human contact.

Meanwhile, a visit by Starr News’ Fred Dzakpata to Nima – a suburb of Accra – reveals a few of the residents are still using pan latrines, despite its ban by the Supreme Court some eight years ago.

Some residents have compounded the situation by engaging in open defecation in the area, putting their health at risk. As the world marks World Toilet Day today, on the theme: “Access to Toilets: Health and Nutrition”, the Assemblyman for the area Umar Sanda Mohammed said efforts are underway to address the problem to provide toilet facilities for everyone.

One of such measures is a partnership with the NGO Y Wise to provide toilet facilities by bearing 60% of the cost while beneficiaries bear the remaining 40%. Mohammed is also building a 50-seater toilet facility for residents which will be commissioned by January.

What’s UN World Toilet Day?
World Toilet Organization was founded on 19 November 2001 and the inaugural World Toilet Summit was held on the same day, the first global summit of its kind. We recognized the need for an international day to draw global attention to the sanitation crisis – and so we established World Toilet Day.
NGOs, the private sector, civil society organizations and the international community joined in to mark the global day. In 2013, a joint initiative between the Government of Singapore and World Toilet Organization led to Singapore’s first UN resolution, entitled “Sanitation for All”, calling for collective action to address the global sanitation crisis through the commemoration of World Toilet Day.

The resolution was co-sponsored and adopted by 122 countries at the 67th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. On July 24, 2013, World Toilet Day on 19 November became an official UN day. Each year UN World Toilet Day calls on the global community to do more to address the sanitation crisis. It is the day to raise awareness about all the people who do not have access to a toilet, and the urgent need to end the sanitation crisis. And it is the day to stand up (or sit down or squat if you prefer) to do something about it.

Source: Ghana/ Dzakpata

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