General News of Sat, 2 Dec 20175
Ghana losing $79 million annually to open defecation – UNICEF
It has been estimated that Ghana loses an average of $79 million annually due to open defecation and is classified among 34 countries with the highest open defecation rates of 15% and above.
Nineteen percent (19%) of the total population practice open defection daily translating into one out of every five people practicing it in the country according to statistics released by the Communications Consultant of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Mr. Emmanuel Addai
In line with the government’s resolve to end open defecation in the country, Mr. Emmanuel Addai has disclosed that the fight can only be won through media reportage.
At a media sensitization on the Open Defecation Free (ODF) Ghana Campaign and the Mass Media in Cape Coat, Mr. Addai called on media in the country to partner stakeholders in a massive campaign against open defecation as they did on illegal mining popularly called galamsey.
He appealed to the support the President to make the nation to become cleanest country among countries.
According to him, the country is losing so much money in tourism due to poor sanitation simply because open defection generates unpleasant odor as well as polluting the air, reiterating his call on the media to champion open defection reports or campaign to sensitize the public on the menace of open defecation and its consequences.
Mr. Addai defined open defection as the practice of attending natures’ call in the bush, at the beach, in drains and dump sites bemoaning inadequate and inaccessible toilet facilities in schools, institutions, health and household latrines are the major cause of open defection in Ghana.
He charged opinion leaders and traditional rulers to desist from supporting communities to demand communal toilets from the government stating that there is need for environmental health officers to educate the people in the communities especially landlords and lady to install household toilets themselves in accordance with the national policy.