The Ministry of Water, Sanitation, and Natural Resources is urging households to refrain from open defecation, emphasizing the importance of building toilet facilities at their homes.
According to the Ghana Statistical Service, about 17% of households still practice open defecation.
This, the ministry considers a significant concern.
As the world celebrates World Toilet Day today, November 20, the Sector Minister, Freda Prempeh, called on local assemblies to ensure communities construct toilet facilities within their households.
“I want to call on stakeholders and admonish households to stop open defecation and build their own toilets. We would also want to continue to collaborate with the Metropolitan Municipal District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) to ensure the communities provide toilet facilities in their homes. And also to ensure that those who already have are maintained,” the Minister of Water and Sanitation and Natural Resources said.
Recent findings from the 2021 Population and Housing Census General Report on Water and Sanitation indicate that 1,477,747 households in Ghana do not have access to a toilet facility (either in their household or a public toilet), which is synonymous with the practice of open defecation.
This figure represents 17.7% of the household population, with the prevalence of open defecation in rural areas (31.3%) being more than three times higher than that of urban areas (8.9%).
The percentage of households without access to toilet facilities was 19.3% in 2010 and 20.2% in 2000, indicating a reduction of 2.5 percentage points in the prevalence of open defecation over the 21-year period.
The regions with the highest proportion of households without access to toilet facilities are the Upper East (80.0%) and North East (79.7%) regions, where eight in every 10 households practice open defecation.