General News of Wednesday, 19 September 2018
The Media Coalition against Open Defecation (M-CODe) has called on President Akufo-Addo to declare a target date to end open defecation in Ghana.
This, according to the group will help the government achieve its aim of making Accra the cleanest city in West Africa by 2020.
Currently, available statistics indicate that one out of every five Ghanaian defecates outside a toilet facility each day. This represents close to 6 million people. It is also estimated that the act cost the country some US$79million annually through tourism loss, water population and death among others.
Speaking at the launch of the coalition in Accra, steering committee member of the coalition, Cecil Nii Obodai said the group is determined to support the crusade against open defecation in Ghana through a coordinated and more aggressive policy influence and public sensitization.
“The coalition against open defecation plans to challenge institutions connected to the fight to work harder, also we will intensify public sensitization through community outreach programmes. We are also asking the President Akufo-Addo to direct all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to develop and publicize roadmaps for eradication of open defecation. Government must also establish an annual budget that syncs with the roadmap. We are also demanding for a total ban on open defecation at beaches by December 2019.”
On his part, the Deputy Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Patrick Boamah reiterated government’s commitment to making Accra the cleanest city by the end of its first term in office.
“The government’s agenda that every house has toilet is on course. Currently, an estimated eleven thousand household toilets have been constructed serving about eighty-eight thousand people by the ministry. A total of four hundred and six toilet facility has also been provided for four hundred and thirty-five thousand people. We have also secured some facilities to help in the implementation of many projects.
This year, the sector will partner with the Ghana Journalist Association to honour media houses who will distinguish themselves in the fight against galamsey. It is, however, important to note that the fight against open defecation is a collective effort. As the media gets on board, platforms such as social media should be used to get Ghanaians on board. Bloggers can also be engaged and partnered in this fight.”