Ghana’s schools lacking toilets: UNICEF

Deutsche Welle) Only two out of five schools in Ghana (West Africa) have toilets or pit latrines and running water, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Ghana Statistical services say this week.

As a result children often miss classes because they have to alternate to use the toilet.

Ghana ranks lowest in sanitation levels among all lower middle income countries, David Duncan, UNICEF chief of Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), said, adding that much needed to be done if the situation is be averted.

“What is challenging is that in Ghana we know that only two out of every five schools in Ghana have water in the schools and only three out of five schools have toilets in the schools. 3 000 schools have no toilets,” he told Deutsche Welle (DW).

“To make it even challenging, the proportion of toilets is not increasing it is rather going down. Toilets fill and are not emptied because there is no money and so they have to be closed because no one can pay the water bill.”

In northern Ghana, pupils often resort to visiting paying toilets, while many cannot afford the fees.

Hussein Issahaku, a pupil ate Dau-rel Islam Basic School in tamale, told DW: “I go to the nearby public toilet, and if I don’t have money, they won’t let me use the toilet.”

The lack of toilets and water especially in areas such as Tamale (northern Ghana) has affected the quality of education.

In some emergency cases, school authorities are forced to send pupils back home  for relief.

“When a child is having diarrhea, then we have a problem. We have sometimes asked the student to go home or to go to the nearby toilet,” educator Anabila Atinga said.

(DW). Photo by UNICEF/DW

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