The World Toilet Day, celebrated every 19th of November, is a day set aside by the United Nations for stakeholders to reflect on efforts towards access to improved sanitation, as well as the management of existing sanitation systems, especially by authorities.
The day is also meant for sector players to gauge the access of peoples across the world, to the basic sanitation amenity of toilet facility and how it could be managed for the support to economic growth and well – being of the people.
In Ghana, this year’s celebration of the World Toilet Day saw various organizations and institutions, both of government and private sector, lead in bringing sector players together, as they deliberated the access to toilet by community members and its related issues.
One such government institution is the North East Regional Coordinating Council, which organized a Sanitation Exhibition Fair for partners in the sector to showcase their sanitation products and services.
The fair, which took place at Nalerigu, the North East Regional Capital, brought together key sector players including UNICEF and CRS, as well as various MMDAs which were represented, for an interaction with CSOs in the sector for information sharing purposes.
WUZDA Ghana, after receiving the invitation from the Environmental Health and Sanitation Unit of the North East Region, as a key development partner, prepared its field officers and latrine artisans for the exhibition, with the aim of showcasing to the public, the sanitation products and services the organization has been providing since 2011, to help bridge the inequality gap between the rich and the poor, with regards to access to household toilet and basic sanitation.
Presenting WUZDA Ghana’s interventions on sanitation and provision of toilet to stakeholders, observers and participants at the fair, Marketing and Credit Officer for WUZDA Ghana, Salifu Mohammed Mahamud indicated that the organization is running a sanitation credit module, which provides toilet to individuals and households on credit, payable through flexible terms, with up to a 12 month duration.
Mahamud stated that access to this facility is not fraught with any discrimination whatsoever, as all an individual or a household requires to benefit from it, is to go through the process of application and be certified as having the need, and is credit worthy.
He reiterated the reasons for WUZDA Ghana to have been intervening in this area as saying, faecal matter can help the nation make some money, if proper attention is paid to managing and recycling it which brought about the need for WUZDA Ghana’s introduction of the Ecosan Digester.
He said the Ecosan Digester toilet allows for the user to turn the faecal matter to produce compost, after it is left covered for some time, allowing the pathogens in it to die, after it becomes full upon use by the individual or household.
The 2020 World Toilet Day is under the theme “Sustainable Sanitation and Climate Change”, which highlights the benefits of recycling and reusing solid waste to reduce effects on climate change, support the growth of economies and to eliminate health problems, as the waste, if managed well, can prevent the people from infectious diseases including COVID – 19.
The day is being used to push for the development of sanitation systems which ensure turning emissions into greener energy.
Interacting with some participants and observers at the sanitation fair in Nalerigu, Mr. Mahamud assured that WUZDA Ghana is ready to support in the quest to providing dignified and affordable toilets to individuals and households through the Latrine Sanitation Credit Scheme, but called for partnership from organizations and institutions that might be interested in supporting to grow the ‘fund’, to help provide coverage for more households.
Back in Tamale at the offices of WUZDA Ghana, a press conference was organized to celebrate the World Toilet Day, where it was revealed to the press that the organization through the Latrine Sanitation Credit Scheme has provided toilets to over 3500 households since 2011.
The conference was also used to highlight some issues of concern from the National Solid Waste Management Strategy for Ghana, which was launched at the 31st Mole Conference in Accra, organized by the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in the Water and Sanitation Sector (CONIWAS).