An environmental journalist, Ama Cudjoe Agyemang has called on Ghanaian ladies to turn down marriage proposals from men who lack toilet facilities in their homes as a way of helping end open defecation in the country.
This, she said, will encourage the construction of household toilets in Ghanaian homes and eventually make Ghana an open defecation free country.
Mrs Agyemang made the comments on the sidelines of a capacity building seminar in Tamale organized for media practitioners on sustaining an open defecation free Ghana.
“We are looking for innovative ways to end open defecation and why would people want to build houses in this era without providing toilet facilities. So you, a big man, young man, businessman you’ve built a house, you’ve bought an expensive car and you don’t have a toilet facility.
“You get up in the morning, together with your family, you sit in the expensive car, drive to a nearby forest reserve and defecate in there and think you are doing fine? So I think it is a very innovative way. No toilet, no marriage; no toilet facility, no love; no toilet facility, no marriage proposal. It’s very innovative and I like it,” she said.
The one day media summit, which was organized by the Kings Hall Media Ltd in partnership with World Vision International, was on the theme: “sustaining the media interest in the open defecation free Ghana agenda.”
Last year, government launched the Social Norms Campaign to complement the Community Total Led Sanitation which has been in existence for years now.
New figures indicate that 19% of Ghanaians still practice open defecation. This is higher than countries like Ethiopia, Bangledesh and Malawi which all use the same sanitation modules.
On institutional sanitation, Mrs Agyeman implored journalists to consider naming and shaming public institutions which violate basic sanitation laws.
“Let’s shame them. You name and shame assemblies, public institutions whose toilet facilities cannot be used. It’s time for us to name and shame those public institutions whose toilet facilities are not working either because they don’t have water or they don’t keep them clean,” she suggested.
The forum was attended by journalists from the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and Brong Ahafo regions.
By: Yahaya Masahudu, firstname.lastname@example.org