General News of Monday, 19 November 2012
Source: Nyamavor, Joshua K.
Press Release on the 19th November, 2012
World Toilet Day 2012
World Toilet Day is observed annually on 19 November since the year 2001. This international day of action aims to break the taboo around toilets and draw attention to the global sanitation challenge.
This year’s world toilet day is dubbed; “I give a shit, do you?”
We at Royal Plumbing Engineering College (ROPEC) will like to cease this opportunity to educate the general public on toilet issues, since we “give a shit!”
Across the world, it is estimated that, accessibility to toilet facility is one in three and in the Greater Accra Region which is a lot more organized in Ghana, the ratio is one in ten. This tells how worse it is in the rural areas.
In the interest of good health for all, we all need to “give a shit” in getting the toilet problem solved.
In trying to solve the problem, we need to take a critical look at the reasons why we have this toiled challenge and try addressing them appropriately without looking down on any suggestions, facts, or information volunteered in the process.
In appreciating the situation, ROPEC conducted a vox pop, which got us informed on the following but in two parts, the rural and the urban challenges.
1. The following are the rural challenges;
i. Some of the people do not belief in building a toilet facility and say it is not ethical to “shit on another person’s shit”
ii. It looks unreasonable to them to live in mud houses and spend money in building anther apartment for “just a water closet (WC)” whiles there are free bushes to ease themselves.
2. In the urban areas the toilet challenge is quiet different and its as follows:
i. Many of the inhabitants in the cities are in rented apartments and therefore have no direct authority in taking a good decision on toilet facilities.
ii. The cities are over populated which is one of the reasons is causing landlords to convert spaces, such as store room, kitchen and toilets etc. into bedrooms for tenants.
iii. The lack of sewerage system makes it much expensive to the landlords in the cities, since the cost of constructing a complete septic tank with a good “leaching system” (commonly known as the “soak away”) is more expensive than building a room.
iv. Some communities are water logged and find it too complicated in dealing with their toiled issues.
In not giving a shit; we are faced with the increase of infectious diseases (like cholera, diarrhoea, etc.), whiles many will dispose their toilet in plastic bags, in the bushes and even with some, connecting their toilets into open drains.
We all need to give a shit, to enable us address this toilet crisis. The following are the suggestions being volunteered by ROPEC to first of all, the government of Ghana through its agencies to responsible organizations and individuals, in giving a shit in dealing with this unpleasant situation:
1. The sewerage system should be revived by the government which used to be under the Ministry of Water Resources Works and Housing.
2. The rent control department should give a shit in provision and checking the standards of rental apartments and all facilities including toilet.
3. The local authorities (like the Accra Metropolitan Assembly) should give a shit by ensuring that all building regulations are inspected by factory inspectors doing the right job before occupied, and building sewage treatment plants, in every community to ensure safe soil (toilet) disposals.
4. Individuals and organizations can also give a shit by sponsoring advocacy projects in educating the public so that we can together deal with the menace.
In conclusion, the advantages of our efforts in giving a shit will in the end to a long way;
a. Improve the health status of the people
b. Having increase in underground potable water
c. Reduced economic hardship
d. Provide biogas as an alternative for LPG for domestic use
e. Provide manure for organic farming
f. Recycled water for supply to recreational sites for tourist attraction
With the little mentioned, giving a shit will be worthwhile.
Article by: Joshua K. Nyamavor
Director, Royal Plumbing Engineering College (ROPEC)
+233 243 181253/+233 264 181253