IT is unfortunate that in this 21st century many people in Ghana still rely on public toilets and engage in open defecation, known in local parlance as ‘free range’, when answering the call of nature.
THIS has been so mainly because they do not have toilets in their homes. In some of our communities, it is an eyesore to see people form long queues in front of public toilets in the mornings and wait for long periods before getting the chance to ease themselves.
DOUBTLESS, household toilet is one of the most important aspects of health and sanitation, the reason it is an offence for landlords not to provide toilet facilities in their homes.
THE Environmental Sanitation Policy of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) states unambiguously that at least 90 per cent of the population should have access to acceptable domestic toilet, while the remaining 10 per cent have to rely on decent public toilets.
BESIDES, national building regulations require every landlord/landlady to have a toilet facility in his or her house.
IN spite of these provisions, people continue to flout the laws with impunity by building houses without making provision for toilet facilities, while the regulatory authorities surprisingly look on helplessly.
GHANA today suffers serious household toilet deficit, with an estimated 30 per cent of the national population without household toilet facilities.
UNFORTUNATELY, many public institutions, such as schools, civil service offices, as well as private companies, also do not have functional and decent toilets, leading to growing open defecation.
DEFECATING in the open comes with serious sanitation, environmental and health consequences. The cholera outbreak, which killed about 250 people in the country, mostly in Accra, in 2014 , resulted from insanitary conditions, with open defecation a factor.
TODAY believes that the deficit in toilet distribution could be reduced drastically through improved regulations, targeted policies and a firm political commitment to implement the regulations at the local level.
WE expect landlords to take full advantage of the initiative by applying to their respective assemblies to benefit from the facility when the programme is rolled out.