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The Media Coalition Against Open Defecation (M-CODe) has joined thousands of people across the globe to commemorate the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day with a call on the general public to be mindful of the threat posed by the practice of open defecation to the health of Ghanaians.
According to M-CODe, Ghana’s first President Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah would definitely be disappointed in us if he were to see or feel the way we have managed our sanitation in general, and especially where his beloved Ghana ranks among the league of filthy countries in the world 61 years after his toil.
In a statement signed by M-CODe Convenor, Emmanuel Addai, stated that Ghana was once among the most attractive countries to visit in Africa, but sadly Ghana now ranks among seven poorest performing countries in terms of sanitation.
He maintained that open defecation is the main reason for Ghana still recording cholera outbreaks and a lot of diarrhea deaths among children and adults. One out of every Five Ghanaians defecates outside a toilet each day, representing close to Six million people who engage in open defecation. Experts have indicated that the practice costs Ghana $79million annually (excluding cost of funerals, single parenthoods, widows and orphans). Apart from the practice being an enemy to tourism, it is also the cause of many preventable illnesses like typhoid, malnutrition and stunted growth in children.
According to M-CODe in order to work towards the attainment of a transformed economy, government should provide a national roadmap for the eradication of open defecation at every administrative level, plus enforcement of bylaws by the MMDAs towards this national campaign.
The coalition is therefore, calling for the establishment of a budget line for eradication of open defecation in annual budgets that syncs with the said national road map.
“We are of the view that, Ghana can achieve the universal access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation even before 2025, if more investments are made in improving sanitation facilities in Ghana” the statement added.
Source: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH