We’re concerned about hygiene in basic schools- Global Safe Water

Project Co-ordinator of the Centre for Global Safe Water, Habib Yakubu has expressed worry about the poor access to water, sanitation and hygiene for children especially in Basic Schools.

The World Health Organization recommends that 5 people per latrine are appropriate to ensure good sanitation, but speaking on . Speaking on JoyNews MultiTV sanitation oriented program ‘Clean Communities’, he Mr. Yakubu said, on the contrary, most schools do not conform to the recommended number of latrines per student.

“If you go to some of our public schools, there are a large number of students using very small number of latrines”.

Throwing more light on the sanitation situation he noted that if a school is expanding, more latrines should be constructed, but the opposite is actually the situation in most of Ghana’s public schools.

He cited a research report which reveals that for both primary and nursery schools only 11% and 21% respectively had hand washing with soap facility and about 96% of pupils in nursery schools tested positive for human faecal matter on their hands.

Also, some of these schools, according to the report, do not have latrines so the school children are forced to engage in open defecation because they can’t afford to pay to use the public latrines.

Speaking on the issue of hand washing, he indicated that most schools do not have hand washing facilities.

He said one percent of every school’s pupils/ students had little education on the importance of washing the hand after visiting the latrine or urinal and school authorities attribute the unavailability of these facilities to lack of funds.  

He blamed school authorities for negligence and the Ghana Education Service for failing to effectively monitor and supervise school authorities.  He urged parents to be concerned about the sanitation situation in the schools their wards attend especially in times like this where more deaths have been recorded as a result of cholera outbreak.

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