World Toilet Day: Children urged to insist on decent facilities at home

Miss Adjoa Gyakoa Appiah-Kubi, the 2023 National Sanitation Diplomat has urged children to impress on their parents and guardians to provide decent sanitary facilities at home.

The 14-year-old student of Efutu M/A Junior High School in the Cape Coast Metropolis said parents love, listen and care for their children and therefore, their insistence would compel them to act accordingly.

Miss Appiah-Kubi made the call at the Siwidu Ebenezer Methodist Church, in commemoration of the World Toilet Day celebrated annually by the UN on November 19.

Among other things, the Day seeks to break the taboo around toilets and raise global awareness of the daily struggle faced by a staggering 2.5 billion people around the world in accessing a basic service like a toilet.

It was also to unite everybody who is passionate about toilets to ensure that access to improved toilets, which has been declared a Human Right issue by the UN, becomes a reality for all.

‘Accelerating change for safe sanitation’ is the theme for the glo
bal celebration with the slogan: ‘Let’s make everyday World Toilet Day and work together to ensure everyone has access to safe sanitation.

‘We are working hard to keep the facility clean. We clean the facility vertically every hour, but due to the pressure, the place is always messy,’ the facility manger said.

Referencing the Ghana Statistical Service, Miss Appiah-Kubi said whilst access to basic drinking water was commendably 87.7 per cent, the same could not be said of access to basic sanitation where only 25.3 per cent had access to improved toilets.

In addition, 17.7 per cent of households in Ghana defecate in the open such as beaches and bushes, translating into more than five million people and about 1,300 tonnes of faeces every day.

In the Central Region, she said about 12 per cent of the households practiced Open Defecation (ODF), whilst in the Cape Coast Metropolis, about eight per cent are engaged in the disturbing practice.

‘Along the coast of Cape Coast and Central Region, open defecation has
become normal than the exception.

‘Meanwhile, open defecation is a major cause of typhoid fever, cholera, hepatitis, diarrhoea and dysentery, with children being the most affected.

‘As a Child Sanitation Diplomat, this is a great concern to me,’ she said and reminded every household without toilet facilities to get one with proper hand washing practices.

‘Homeowners without toilet facilities in their house should be sanctioned.

‘Until that is done, we will continue to witness this type of public toilet facilities which are largely not well maintained,’ Miss Appiah-Kubi lamented.

Later, she visited the Abura market, the second largest in the Metropolis, to inspect sanitary facilities.

She was appalled by the sorry state of the toilets in the market as well as chocked drains, amidst a strong stench emanating from the septic tank that had been connected to the drains.

The situation had created a repugnant smell as traders sat around to sell without qualms about the health implications on them.

A caretake
r at the only public toilet serving more than 3,000 traders, disclosed that there was pressure on the facility due to the few toilets in households in the neighbourhood.

‘We are working hard to keep the facility clean. We clean them vertically every hour, but due to the pressure, the place is always messy,’ the facility manager said.

The situation was confirmed by some traders, who alleged that using the toilet had resulted in several females being infected with candidiasis.

Reiterating the essence of sanitary facilities at home, Mr. Yaw Atta Arhin, WASH Technical Specialist of World Vision, Ghana, who accompanied the Sanitation Diplomat, said water and sanitation were critical to achieving the SDG six.

The issues relating to drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene, as well as the quality and sustainability of water resources worldwide must be given priority attention, he stated.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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