Stephen Asante/Florence Afriyie Mensah, GNA
Kumasi, Sept 13, GNA - United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Kwame Nkrumah University (KNUST) have launched a joint project to develop low-cost and environmentally-friendly household toilets to assist end open defecation in the country.
The goal is to radically increase access to household facilities across the nation, especially in the slums and rural communities.
Professor Kwabena Biritwum Nyarko of the University’s Civil Engineering Department, said at its formal launch in Kumasi that a Committee had been set up to receive various constructions designs and to select the most appropriate.
He added that the project dubbed “Sanitation challenge” tied in with the government’s effort to stop the unhealthy practice by year 2020.
He made reference to a recent study by the UN that ranked Ghana second in Africa in terms of open defecation and said this could not continue.
It is estimated that about 88 per cent of the practice involves the urban poor and the rural population.
Prof Nyarko said they were looking at household toilets that would not cost more than GH¢500.00 to construct, adding that, these needed to be affordable.
He indicated that the “Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on Sanitation could once again be missed if desirable, environmentally-friendly and affordable toilet technologies are not developed and promoted for use among inhabitants in rural, peri-urban and the urban areas”.
“In designing and producing more low-cost affordable toilets, millions more people across Ghana will have a chance to access household toilet.”
Mr. Rushnan Murtaza, acting UNICEF Ghana Representative, said the UN body was excited to be associated with the project.
He said it had the added advantage of helping creative and innovative young Ghanaian to unleash their talents by developing cleaner household toilets for healthy lives.