The Government Statistician, Prof. Samuel Kobina Annim has disclosed that, Ghana’s chances of ending open defecation by 2030 is minimal unless authorities accelerate interventions.
“As I indicated, the Ministry have developed different scenarios and this is the time we need to accelerate because, if over 11 year period we have reduced by just 1.6 percentage point and we have 7 years to 2030 then clearly, we are not likely to achieve the universal ending of open defecation “.
Prof. Samuel Kobina Annim made this statement during the release of the 2010 and 2021 Comparative Analysis Report on Water and Sanitation and Braille report on the 2021 PHC General Report Highlights held in Accra.
He said what is important was that, nationally, the nation cannot achieved it but there are a lot of Districts that are lacking behind and base of the mantra of living no one behind, there is the need to start targeting Districts that have retrogressed and are below the national target.
The Ghana Statistical Service has put up the country’s water situation as far as access to improve water and the management of improved water. The focus of the report is access of improved water.
The second report that,GSS has released has to do with sanitation which is a trend analysis specifically from the 2010 Population and Housing Census and 2021 Population and Housing.
Speaking to the media, the Government Statistician disclosed that their focus is not on the levels of access to improve water or sanitation practices but rather, their focus has to do with the disaggregation that they see.
“Nationally we have seen some improvements in open defecation very minimal dropping by 1.6 percentage point over the 11 year period. But the point that we are hammering on is the desegregation that we see across the 261 Administration District. So, while nationally we see that improvement of 1.6 percentage point, we have today put out 70 District that over the 11 years period have retrogressed in terms of open defecation practices in this country. Whilst in some other District notably the Nandom District and some Districts in the Upper West Region, we see improvement in excess of 50 percentage point over the 11 year period”.
He therefore, called on the Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development Minister to have a breakfast conversation among the D, istrict Chief Executives that have seen quit tremendous improvement over the 11 year period and other District that have retrogressed so that best practices can be learnt across the District to ensure that globally, Ghana achieved the target of ending open defecation by 2023.
He further called on the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources to go back to their own National target that they set for the period 2021 to 2030 saying, there is the need to revised those statistics specifically the target on access to basic water services.
The Ministry he said has a figure of 61.85 but they have out a figure and as at 2023 base on the 2021 Population Census the nation is around 57 added that, also base on the 11 year period, they got 1.2 percentage point. “Annual changes overtime. If we are going by that and there are no changes, it means that there would be a challenge achieving that target. More importantly the disparity we find across the urban areas, indeed the rural areas. Indeed is is worse so, we need to do a lot more targeting if we want to ensure that each and everyone gets the Universal access and equitable access to improve water”.
UNICEF WASH Specialist, Mrs. Loretta Roberts indicated that, there is a lot to be done but said, the good news from the data is that the country has made massive strides since 2010. “So for us, I think is an encouragement that we know what to do to ensure that we can meet the target with the right investments, with the right investment for the MMDAs, we should be able to see Ghana meet the SDG targets of eliminating open defecation and increasing and ensuring that each Household has access to expectation facilities for their use”.
She revealed that at the National level, it seems that there is a marginal reduction but said when you go down into details particularly for the District, you would see that some Districts have done very well as some have reduced open defecation by more than 50 percent.
“And so what has been done in these Districts, most of these activities have started with social and behavior change, bolding the capacity of the private sector to be able to support households acquired durable sanitation facilities and then some enforcements”.
A programme by government that ensures that each District is implementing sanitation is critical saying, currently it is only those that have project that are implement and that is not helpful.
She mentioned that there is the need to have a situation where every District in the country is implementing an intervention to eliminate open defecation and increase the average of household sanitation.
Ghana Statistical Service report revealed that, proportion of households that use septic tank increased by 9.6 percentage points between 2010 and 2021, whilst the use of KVIP/VIP also increased by 1.3 percentage points over the same period.
The increase according to Statistical treatment Service, is reflected among both urban and rural households except for the use of KVIP/VIP that reduced in urban areas. Proportion of households that use pit latrine reduced from 41.3 percent to 27.1 percent over the same period. This reduction also occurs among urban and rural households.
The report says, there is substantial reduction in the number of households that use bucket/pan latrine from (1.6%) 40,678 in 2010 to (0.1%) 2,576 in 2021.
Furthermore, there is an increase in the proportion of households that use septic tank (manhole) from 38.2 percent in 2010 to 45.1 percent in 2021, and similarly, the use of KVIP/VIP from 15.0 percent to 17.8 percent over the same period in Western Region.
Proportion of households that use pit latrine reduced by 11.1 percentage points between 2010 and 2021.