More than 100 landlords in the Tamale metropolis who have no toilet facilities in their homes have accessed the Basic Sanitation Fund to help them put up such facilities.
This initiative is to help eradicate the ancient practice of open defecation which is rampant in the Tamale Metropolis.
Open defecation, commonly known as “free range” is a major national environmental concern; more so in the Tamale Metropolis of the Northern Region where about 95 percent of homes are without toilet facilities.
A 2017 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey shows that 3 out of every person in the Northern Region engage in open defecation with only 5 percent owning toilet facilities in their homes.
This situation is mostly attributed to the lack of purposeful funding.
It is against this background that the Ghana government in collaboration with the Netherlands through UNICEF under the Urban Sanitation Project initiated the Basic Sanitation Fund to improve sanitation in urban areas.
Speaking to Citi News at a Sanitation fair in Tamale, The WASH officer for Urban Sanitation at UNICEF Korama Ocran threw more light on the loan facility saying.
“It is a basic sanitation fund which will operate as a revolving fund. It is available for residents of Ashaiman, Ho and Tamale so interested residents who want to own a toilet will have to approach environmental health officers of the assembly for advice of the kind of toilet and the suitainability for their area and other things.”
She stressed that the fund is not a gift, but a loan to be paid back over a certain period.
“You have to be vetted for your eligibility. You will need a guarantor, it is not for free,” he added.
Mr. Fuseini Abdulai Vittin is the first beneficiary of the Basic Sanitation Fund. He shares his thoughts on the initiative.
“My family and I do not go to the bush anymore because we now have a toilet. This is because of the intervention of the government and UNICEF which I was able to take a loan and put up a toilet in my house.”
The Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive, Musah Superior, on his part says landlords have no more excuses against putting up the facilities in their homes.
“If you want people to do things that cost money which they do not have, you have to persuade, support and be with them. Hence the collaboration of the assembly with UNICEF to be able to deliver the funding for these people. Giving moratorium for someone who doesn’t have a job is achievable. We need a law that is achievable. So landlords will no longer have an excuse why they do not have a toilet in their homes.”
The project which was launched in December last year has enabled over 20 households to own toilet facilities, contributing to the country’s quest to achieve the Sustainable development Goal 6 which focuses on sanitation.
By: Diana Ngon | citinewsroom.com | Ghana