Ghana is said to be doing poorly in its efforts to meet its target of zero percent Open Defecation (ODF) by the end of the Year 2030.
According to the WASH Sector performance report for the year 2018-2019, ODF figures as at the end of the year 2020 stood at 17.8%.
The 17.8% refers to the percentage of the population defecating in the open, such as in fields, forests, bushes, open bodies of water, on beaches, and in other open spaces or those who dispose human excreta with solid waste.
This shocking revealition was made by the researcher, Ing. Kwabena Gyasi-Doku during his presentation at a days consultative forum on WASH Sector performance report for the year 2018-2019 organised by Coalition of NGOs in Water, and Sanitation (CONIWAS), Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR) with support from UNICEF.
Ing. Gyasi-Doku explained further that if Ghana is to move at its current rate, it will only reduce ODF by two percentage points from 17.8% to 15.8% by 2030 zero percent deadline.
He therefore, entreated WASH Sector players especially government to double it effort by ensuring that more sanitation and hygiene facilities are provided as well as repairing existing breaking down ones to improve accessibility.
He hinted that three (3) out of 10 rural folks currently practice open defecation. This behaviour, according to Ing. Gyasi-Doku is unacceptable.
"Government and its partners have to invest more in the WASH sector because that is the only way the country can address its sanitation challenges ". He cautioned.
The WASH sector in 2009 instituted the Annual WASH sector performance report which outlines the implementation, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) arrangement of the Ministry's programme and projects as well as the wider WASH sector performance.
It also assesses the progress of the sector against the medium term development plan and determine areas for improvement .
Speaking in an exclusive interview with this reporter, after the forum, the Executive Secretray of CONIWAS, Mrs Basilia Nanbigne said the purpose of the forum was to share the sector performance report for the year 2018-2019 among members of her outfit and other stakeholders in the WASH Sector.
Again the forum was used to share template for data collection /key data needed for the preparation of the 2020 Annual performance report. She opened.
"More importantly today's fora is to get the total commitment of sector especially NGOs to share appopirate and adequate data for performance report for 2020 and other years to come" The Executive Secretray of CONIWAS disclosed.
From the analysis of 2018-2019 performance report suggests that more extensive policy and implementation efforts will be needed to address the challenge of open (or “free range”) defecation in Ghana. Mrs Nanbigne reiterated.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
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