Regional News of Thursday, 6 February 2020
Mr Mensah Darkey, Director of EDSAM Social Network, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has called on stakeholders to ensure that shops and small business outlets provide toilet facilities to help reduce open defaecation.
He said most shops, retail outlets and small business premises had no toilet facilities, causing workers and clients to resort to less dignified approaches including open defecation.
Mr Darkey raised the concerns in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at a stakeholder forum organised by the NGO in Ho to help perfect its urban sanitation strategies.
He noted that although almost all houses situated along roads in the country hosted shops, workers and clients had little or no access to the household’s toilet facilities.
Mr Darkey also observed that public toilets were not the ideal facilities for use by the business community due to the high risk of germs and diseases.
He, therefore, appealed to local authorities and other regulatory bodies to demand that toilets were attached to shops before granting permits.
The Director added that the NGO had been engaging landlords and shop owners in the Ho Municipality to help address the issue.
The forum was attended by heads and representatives from key agencies and departments in the Region including the Regional and Municipal environmental health departments, the Ghana Health Service, UNICEF, NADMO, the Non-Formal Education Unit, the Information Services Department, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Mr Darkey, at the forum, said the dynamics of fighting open defecation in the urban setting demanded that a robust strategy was developed in collaboration with all stakeholders.
He said EDSAM’s strategies included demarcating and segmenting communities, the formation of community sanitation teams, and household data collection.
Mr Darkey called for community commitment to ending open defecation, by adopting self-assessment, and working closely with stakeholders to sustain gains.
The Ghana Urban Sanitation project is a four year initiative towards ensuring that urban communities were fully sanitised, and is being piloted in the Ho, Ashaiman, and Tamale Municipalities.
The project has three main strategies- increasing access to hygienic use of sanitary facilities in communities and schools, and the development of implementation strategies for use across the country.