Shameful! Over 6.5 million people in Ghana still engage in Open Defecation

“For believers in a better world for children, we are concerned that Open Defecation is still practised by approximately 22% of Ghana’s population (MICS 2017/18). This translates in to over 6.5 million people in Ghana.

It is also sad to observe that 3,600 children die every year from diseases such as diarrhea, cholera and typhoid fever when these are easily preventable with affordable and proven interventions such as the use of improved latrines and hand washing with soap under running water”.

The above observation was revealed by Mr.Yaw Atta Arhin,Wash Technical Coordinator, Word Vision Ghana during the officially launching of Ashanti regional branch of Media Coalition against Open Defecation (M-CODe) held at Golden Tulip hotel Kumasi.

Mr.Arhin said even though “we take it for granted, Open Defecation is probably one of the greatest threats to life and child wellbeing in 21st Century Ghana and Sub-Sahara Africa.

This is because a UNICEF study has revealed that one gram of human faeces may contain 10 million viruses, 1 million bacteria, 1,000 parasite cysts and 100 parasite eggs. This has negative consequences for health, productivity and socio-economic development.For believers in a better world for children, we are concerned that Open Defecation is still practised by approximately 22% of Ghana’s population (MICS 2017/18). This translates in to over 6.5 million people in Ghana.

It is also sad to observe that 3,600 children die every year from diseases such as diarrhea, cholera and typhoid fever when these are easily preventable with affordable and proven interventions such as the use of improved latrines and hand washing with soap under running water.

Explaining that this was what motivated World Vision Ghana to facilitate the establishment and launch of the MEDIA COALITION AGAINST OPEN DEFECATION (M-CODe)on 19th September, 2018 in partnership with Kings Hall Media. And I am happy to observe that our toils have not been in vail. M-CODe’s exploits have been impressive.

He said World Vision, nothing is more important to child wellbeing than access to safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene. This is why the acute water shortage and the struggle to fetch water even from gutters is very disturbing and unacceptable in 21st Century Ghana.

Adding that World Vision will continue to work for increased prioritization and investments for sustainable WASH services delivery. “We particularly want government and other stakeholders to pay attention to the WASH situation in schools and health facilities. This is necessary for creating a conducive environment for quality education and healthcare”.

 

The Wash Technical Coordinator said despite the increasing political and public interest and greater attention in recent times, progress on ending Open Defecation has been painfully slow. “We wish to encourage government and the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources to continue to provide leadership and strategic direction with a clear and achievable road map towards ending Open Defecation in Ghana.On behalf of the Senior Leadership Team of World Vision Ghana and on my own behalf, I wish to salute all the media houses who are founding members of this Ashanti region branch of the coalition for the bold decision to join forces towards advocacy and public sensitization for ending Open Defecation in Ghana”. He however, reminded the member of Coalition that “the journey you are embarking on today – ending Open Defecation – may not appear attractive to many. But one thing is clear – you are on a mission of saving and transforming lives, something you should be proud and positive about.

World Vision Ghana and our partners, including Kings Hall Media and the Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS), of which I am Chairman, are solidly behind you. We will continue to provide financial and technical support to the best of our ability to facilitate the realizing of your objectives and our vision for every child LIFE IN ALL ITS FULLNESS”.

Mr.Yaw Attah Arhin also encouraged the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, development partners, corporate organizations and other non-state actors to extend a helping hand to the Coalition (both national and regional) and support this noble cause. “We look forward to taking pride in your exploits and sharing your success stories with the rest of the world. We will be following your exploits keenly and I believe you will make us proud”,he added.Story by a news desk report

The members of the Coalition in a group picture  Mr.Yaw Attah Arhin

 

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