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World Toilet Day: Open defecation is a threat to our lives

According to World Health Organisation in 2015, around 2.4 billion people live without sanitation and one out of ten people has no option, but to openly defecate. Lack of sanitation access has an impact on the dignity, safety and health of people. The day emphasizes on the significance of adequate sanitation and commends for access to safe and clean toilet for all. Sanitation crises notably open defecation is a threat to our lives and we often neglect it.

Open defecation creates varied problems such as air pollution, pollution of water sources and a drain on the health sector. We normally do not realize the link between one neighbor practicing open defecation and the other using a toilet facility as there are several agents such as flies, air and water that spread faeces from one place to the other. This ultimately leads to cholera and other communicable diseases.

As part of Bryan Acheampong Foundation’s effort at addressing open defecation, we have supported the construction of over sixty household toilets in two communities within the Kwahu-East District (Mamfe and Atarekan) through the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach where we sensitized the populace, identified and trained natural leaders to spearhead the intervention and provided building materials and labour for construction.

During the sensitization phase, the two communities accepted and recognized the fact that they were invariably consuming their own faeces because they had no toilet facilities and thus practicing open defecation.

The Foundation has also desludged public toilet pits in two communities (Nkwatia and Ankoma) to increase access to toilet facilities.

As we observe world toilet day, we at Bryan Acheampong Foundation entreat all to inculcate the habit of using available toilet facilities to ensure that defecating openly is stopped and eradicated anywhere we find ourselves to avert any accompanying diseases.

BAF is collaborating with all stakeholders to make Kwahu East District and Ghana as a whole open defecation free.

 

Mr. Robert Quansah

Program Manager

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

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