Open defecation level drops in Ghana
According to the Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP), the rate of open defecation in Ghana has dropped by 5% in the last two years.
Speaking on ‘Clean Communities’ on the Joy News channel on Multi TV, Emmanuel Addai stated that, “figures that came out in 2012 said open defecation rates in Ghana was 24%, but the estimated figure for 2014, from the source, the Joint Management Programme (JMP), is 19%.”
The Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural development has attributed the result to the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programme.
With the support of UNICEF, CIDA, DGIS and UNILEVER, the Directorate introduced the CLTS programme to target communities that practice open defecation.
Advocacy Officer, Emmanuel Addai, said “it is clear we are doing better. The Community Led Total Sanitation programme has been adopted as Ghana’s rural sanitation model.” He added that “it is also forcing the communities to stop open defecation and teaching them how to manage their faeces rather than entering the bushes or water bodies to respond to nature’s call.”
Mr Addai proposed a means to sustain this feat and further reduce the number of people who practice open defecation.
“The new approach is to let the communities understand the dangers of open defecation so that they themselves will find ways of stopping it by digging their own toilet facilities. The idea is to change the mindset from practicing open defecation to using a toilet in their own homes.”