World Vision Ghana, has commemorated this year’s World Toilet Day celebrations in the West Gonja Municipality of the Savannah region on 24th of November, 2022 at the Damongo Astroturf under the theme; “Sanitation and Groundwater – making the invisible visible” .
According to WHO/UNICEF report, over 800 children under age five (5) years die every day from diarrhea which are linked to unsafe water, sanitation and poor hygiene, meaning children died as a result of eating faeces each day.
To curbe the situation, a declaration was made by the united nations General Assembly in the year 2013 where World Toilet Day has become an annual event which is celebrated on the 19th of November every year to raise the awareness about people living without access to safely managed sanitation and to initiate actions to tackle the global sanitation menace.
The Cluster Programmes Manager of World Vision Ghana, Mr. Felix Apeti explained the rationale behind the commemoration of the day, saying it is based on the impact of open defecation to the health and sanitation hazards that the world is exposed to.
He revealed that, about 17.5% of the Ghanaian population practices Open defecation with 3.6 billion people globally living without access to safer toilet facilities.
He added that, at least 2 billion people globally use drinking water sources that are contaminated with faeces which exposes the people to the health and sanitation hazards and that, groundwater provides half of all water withdrawn for domestic uses including the drinking water for the vast majority of the rural population which accounts for approximately 99 percent of all liquid freshwater on the earth.
Mr. Felix also explained that, eight (8) out of 78 communities in the West Gonja Municipality were supported by world vision Ghana to help stop Open Defecation in the municipality where a total of 3,260 household latrines are constructed.
The Deputy Savannah Regional Environmental health officer, Mr. Abubakari Sadiq Dauda who chaired the occasion noted that since the declaration of the day, statistics from the united nations shows that “3.6 billion people across the globe are still living without toilet or with poor quality toilets that have the tendency to pollute the environment which might ruin their health as well.
He also noted that, Safe sanitation protects
groundwater whereas, inadequate sanitation systems spread human waste into rivers, lakes and other water bodies as well as the soil. Adding, toilets that are properly sited and connected to safely manage sanitation systems collect, treat, dispose of and help prevent human waste from spreading into rivers and other sources of water.
He bemoaned that sanitation actions are urgent to be able to meet goal six (6) of the sustainable development goals which is, to ensure safe toilets for all by the year 2030 and with only eight years left, the world needs to work four times faster to meet the promise.
The World toilet day celebration was observed in the West Gonja Municipality with a quiz competition with sanitation related questions with four (4) participating schools which included; St. Anne’s JHS B, Presby JHS B, Canteen JHS A, Canteen JHS B.
St. Anne’s JHS B emerged the overall winners with 25 points, Presby JHS B came second with 19 points, Canteen JHS A third with 16 points and Canteen JHS B fourth with 15 points.
The participating schools were awarded with educational materials and some environmental equipments including Brooms, Metal rages, Dust bins, Note books, mathematical sets and other items.
Source: Padfm.com.gh/Gogu Edwin/