Dr. Freda Akosua Prempeh, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, emphasized the commitment of the Ministry to the “Toilet for All” programme, urging households to cease open defecation and take steps to construct their own toilets.
Speaking at the press launch of the 2023 World Toilet Day, Dr Prempeh encouraged local authorities to enforce bylaws on toilet construction and emphasized the need for toilets in basic schools and healthcare facilities.
The Minister highlighted the significance of partnerships in the government's efforts to increase access to toilets in Ghana, aligning with this year's World Toilet Day theme, “Accelerating Change through Strategic Partnership: Every Contribution Counts.”
The day aims to break taboos around toilets and raise awareness about the challenges faced by 3.5 billion people globally in accessing this basic service.
As part of the commemoration, various activities are planned, including a World Toilet Day Mini Community Durbar, media discussions, community sensitization, statements in Parliament, and sanitation messages/sermons in religious institutions.
Dr. Prempeh called on the media, partners, private sector, civil society, and citizens to join in sensitizing the public about the importance of having toilets in their homes.
She shared positive strides in water and sanitation goals, noting an increase in access to basic drinking water services and improved toilet facilities in the country.
Under the Greater Accra Sustainable Sanitation and Livelihoods Improvement Project (GASSLIP), 5000 household toilets and 60 Institutional Toilet Facilities have been provided in the Greater Accra Region.
However, the Minister acknowledged that challenges persist, with 17.7% of households practising open defecation and 25.3% having exclusive access to toilets.
Dr. Prempeh highlighted government investments in projects aimed at eradicating open defecation and promoting safe sanitation practices. The GAMA Project, which concluded in December 2020, delivered improved household toilets and modern disability-friendly, gender-sensitive institutional toilet facilities.
The ongoing project will expand and rehabilitate the Asafo Sewerage System in Kumasi, providing additional household and institutional toilets.
Component One of the Project includes extending potable water by laying 120km of pipelines, establishing new service connections, reducing non-revenue water, and retooling the Ghana Water Limited meter shop in Greater Kumasi.