The Ghana Wash Journalists Network (GWJN) has launched a documentary to promote universal access to improved sanitation and stop open defaecation in Ghana.
GWJN leadership posed for this photo with some officials of the WASH sector afterthe launching
The documentary titled, ‘The State of Open Defecation and Access to Improved Sanitation in Ghana,’ highlights the challenges and solutions in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector..
The documentary, which was premiered at a dissemination event in Accra yesterday, features stories and testimonies from various stakeholders and communities on the impact of open defecation and poor sanitation on health, education, environment and development.
The National Coordinator of GWJN, Justice Lee Adoboe, said the documentary was part of the network’s mission, to use its reporting skills to generate discussions and actions from duty bearers and the public on the critical issues in the WASH sector.
He said the documentary sought to unearth the underlying factors that make it difficult for Ghanaians to access improved sanitation, and why about 17.7% of the population resort to open defecation, according to the 2021 Housing and Population Census.
“The slow pace of improvement in the access to sanitation (25%) compared to water (88%) can only be point to stronger underlying factors hampering access to improved sanitation in the country”
According to him, the most pronounced factor was poverty, which has been one of the major barriers to access many other public goods. He said poverty was also a major driver of open defecation, which was a major blot on the national conscience.
He believes that access to water and sanitation were two critical wings whose performance had a direct impact not only on health and well-being but also on the attainment of many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He quoted Dr. Kwegyir James Aggrey, a renowned Ghanaian educationist, saying, “You can play a tune of sorts on the black keys only, and you can play a tune of sorts on the white keys only. But for perfect harmony, you must use both the black and the white keys.”
Mr. Adoboe said the network hoped that the documentary, imperfect as it may be, would aid the other advocacy tools in the sector to create equal access to both water and sanitation for all Ghanaians.
The Director at Community Water & Sanitation Agency, Safuratu Muhammed Andani, noted that investing in water, sanitation and hygiene is the necessary foundation for a healthy and productive population.
“……People find it difficult invest in sanitation, I think it is the best investment one can do in terms of your convenience, dignity and comfort,”she explained.