President of Africa Schools Sanitation Foundation (ASSF), Kwame Tutu, has asked the government of Ghana to declare the issue of dirty lavatories and urinals in our public schools a national crisis.
According to him, proper sanitation facilities (such as toilets and latrines) promote health because they allow people to properly dispose of their waste, preventing pollution of their environment and reducing risk to themselves and their neighbours.
However, we are faced with several situations in which public schools have terrible and filthy toilets and urinals, and in some cases, none at all.
The situation he bemoaned results in an unhealthy environment contaminated by human waste.
He stated that without proper sanitation facilities, waste from infected individuals can contaminate a community’s land and water, increasing the risk of infection for other people.
According to the World Health Organization and UNICEF, nearly one-third of the world’s schools continue to lack basic water, sanitation, and hygiene services.
Ghana is not an exception as several public schools face these challenges, a situation that affects the quality of teaching and learning.
To address the issue Kwame Tutu, a well-known broadcaster and communication expert, has asked the government to declare the situation a national emergency.
He argued that appropriate WASH facilities are especially important for girls in ensuring their safe and healthy participation in school.,
To him, this could be linked to increased female attendance, buttressing the point with available data where it is believed that 10% of women and girls in at least 15 of the 36 countries surveyed did not have a private place to wash and change at home.
He also stated that in the absence of proper sanitation facilities, people are frequently forced to live in and drink water from an environment contaminated with waste from infected individuals.
The situation could put them at risk of infection in the future.
“Inadequate waste disposal fuels the infection cycle of many bacteria and other germs that can be spread by contaminated soil, food, water, and insects like flies. This is why I want the government to declare the situation a national crisis.