Global Communities, an international Non-Governmental Organization in partnership with Duraplast Ghana Limited and USAID has taken a giant step by launching a “Digni –loo’ plastic latrine slab   to help end open defecation in Ghana.

 The plastic toilet technology was designed as an alternative basic sanitation option for households. It was approved by Ghana Standards Authority and costs approximately $80 USD (330 GHC).

This “ Digni –loo’  plastic  latrine slab was produced under auspices of USAID  through a public –private partnership with Dursplast Ghana Ltd and piloted with the support of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources.

ore so, the USAID, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Good and other sector experts introduced a newly developed research –based Social Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) package to help improve hygiene behaviors among mothers, fathers, caregivers and children in the country.

Mr.  Joseph Amoah, a Director at the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR) on behalf of the Sector Minister, noted that available records indicate that Toilet Access rate in Ghana currently stands at 15%, which by comparison, is among the lowest in the world.

He however frowned at the manner in which the country had been characterized by poor environmental sanitation due to unhygienic attitude of the people and had resulted in diseases.

Diseases including malaria, typhoid, cholera, worm-infection and others could attributed to the filth that has engulfed the towns and cities. This he said, poor sanitation is major challenge impeding national development in the country.

It is in this regard, the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach was introduced in the country. According to him, since its introduction, the initiative has recorded some successes by engendering demand for decent toilet facilities in the country.

“Let me conclude by reiterating that government is highly committed to cleaning the environment, and that explains why we would always laud initiatives such as what we are launching today”, he stated.

The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources is considering the re-introduction of the “ Sama” concept  by providing the Environmental Health Officers with the needed resources and the encouragement to achieve the desired outcomes .

“ This we believe , would be one of the most effective means by which we can deliver a clean , safe and healthy environment for the benefit of good people of Ghana”, he added.

The U.S. Ambassador H.E. Robert P. Jackson, disclosed that every two minutes somewhere in the world a child dies due to WASH –related diseases. Children worldwide lose more than 400 million school days each year because of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) challenges.

“Ghana is the priority country for USAID’s sanitation programming. In just over two years, our WASH for health project has improved sanitation for than 50, 000 Ghanaians”, he disclosed.

He has therefore commended the Ghanaian government for partnering with them to tackle issues relating to health and sanitation.

Grant &Communications  Specialist at  Global Communities , Melissa Burnes, hinted that the plastic slab and the Behavior Change  Communication Package will help communities to  become  Open Defecation Free , and support Ghana to achieve its targets under the sustainable Development Goal #6: to ensure access to clean water and sanitation for all .

Ghanaians will now be able to purchase and install an innovative alternative to the traditional latrine. The DigniLoo – is a plastic latrine slab that is affordable, easy – to – install, durable and reusable.

By : Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/NewsGhana.com.Gh