It is estimated that over 4.5 billion people out of the world’s total population of 7.2 billion do not have access to safe latrines.
This means that out of every 100 people, 63 of them don’t have toilet facilities, a situation experts say has an adverse health effect on people.
Similarly, in Ghana, figures suggest only 15 percent of the over 27 million population have access to safe latrines.
This has serious consequences for people’s dignity, health and ability to work or attend school.
As the world marked World Toilet Day Monday, the Centre for Development Partnerships and Innovations (CDPI), in collaboration with government, aims to reduce rising incidences of open defection to meet one of the sustainable development goals’ (MDG) target.
The event was used to enlighten residents of Fremponso, Vanderpuye, Akyem-Ankaase and Mampong on consequences of open defecation.
CDPI is a non-governmental organisation which specialises in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) issues.
The purpose of the observance is to raise awareness about the challenges and deadly health consequences of poor sanitation in some parts of the world, particularly sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, and to encourage the formulation and implementation of policies that increase access to improved sanitation.
Executive Director of Centre for Development Partnerships and Innovations (CDPI), John Nedjoh enumerated some dangers associated with open defecation.
“When you defecate openly it comes back to us and we drink it through our water and the food we eat. So if you think you when openly defecate it has no health implications, then you need to think about it. It’s a bad practice which needs to be stopped or reduced drastically,” he stated.
Over the years, local government bodies in Ghana have been encouraging households to build their own toilet facilities in their homes through the provision of counterpart funding.
CDPI, as part of efforts to help tackle rising incidences of open defecation, has trained some youth in their operational area as latrine Artisans.
They are to build latrines for households on demand.
Participants received certificates for their successful completion of the training program.
Queen mother of Fremponso, Nana Nyinakpe Anokye I, says open defecation was rampant in the four communities until recently when residents were educated on the dangers of open defecation.
The event was graced by Atiwa West municipal Chief Executive, Kwabena Panyin Nkansah, and donor partners Ernst Peyer Foundation.
The Foundation funds the WASH programs being undertaken by CDPI.
Participants were taken through effective hand washing exercises.
Chairman of the foundation, Banned Heinnman in his address expressed worry over lack of toilet facilities in many homes in Ghana.
“I am aware that most people prefer buying expensive smartphones to building toilets in their homes. This must not happen, let’s focus on health issues first before any other,” he said.