Open defecationActing Vice Chairman of the Coalition of non- governmental organizations (NGOs) in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS), Mr. Farouk Braimah, has noted that  the inability of central government to fully address the alarming rate of poor drinking water and open defecation as contributing to high-outbreak of diseases in both urban and rural areas in the country.

??Open defecation is a common practice among the people in the communities which do not have toilets,? he said adding that it is estimated that even in communities with toilets, some 30 percent do not function properly. In these circumstances residents are constantly exposed to infection.?

According to him, it was estimated that lack of provision of potable and adequate water services delivery to the people of the country are capable of undermining the achievement of targets set for Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 1,2,4, 5 and 6.

Mr. Braimah stated this at an occasion in Accra recently to showcase a video documentary on collection and disposal of liquid waste (raw faecal matter) in Accra metropolis conducted by  CONIWAS and Ghana Water and Sanitation Journalists Network (GWJN), currently spearheading water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) related-issues.

The video documentary showed the general public the status of faecal disposal sites in Accra and how the raw faeces are managed before disposal.

The worried FaronkBraimah, therefore, appealed to government through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to ensure the timely release of budgetary allocations to the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

?The current problems facing the country with respect to liquid (faecal) waste management is attributed to long-term neglect of the sector, lack of political will to implement laws and regulations they themselves have passed and attitude and behaviour of the citizenry towards environmental hygiene?, Mr. Braimah noted.

He said the irony of the situation is that the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) collects revenue from the Cesspit Emptiers before they are allowed to deposit the raw faeces into the sea, a situation of ? legalising an illegally.?

STORY: KORYEKPOR AWLESU FREEMAN

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