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IESS Seminar holds Ghana’s Sanitation Challenges and Possible Solutions

23 December 2014

The Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS) as part of its guest seminar series organised a seminar on the topic “Solving Ghana’s sanitation challenges, what will it take?”

The seminar comprised a two-part presentation delivered by Mr. Harold Essau and Mrs. Lorrentta Roberts, both experts in water, hygiene and sanitation issues associated with UN-WASH project.

In his presentation, Mr. Essau mentioned that 22.9% of Ghanaians practise open defecation with the worse trends in the three northern regions and in rural areas. He further outlined the six major components of environmental sanitation to include; human excreta, solid waste, drainage storm and sullage, health care, sanitation education and enforcement. He emphasised the importance of managing human excreta because of the direct and indirect impacts it has on human, environmental health and the other components of environmental sanitation.

Mr. Harold Essau and Mrs. Lorrentta Roberts

Mrs. Roberts on the second part of the presentation dwelt on the effects of good sanitation practises across a range of issues including health, nutrition, education and the economy. The focus of her presentation, however, was on nutrition, which happens to be a new frontier of research under the purview of sanitation.

She explored the performance of the numerous national strategies, policies, legislation and directives designed and adopted for sanitation in Ghana, and identified key challenges of their implementation processes.

Present at the seminar were IESS Director and Research Fellows namely; Prof. Chris Gordon, Dr. Elaine T. Lawson, Dr. Dzidzo Yirenya-Tawiah, Dr. Ted Y. Annang and Dr. B.D. Ofori. The audience present at the seminar were IESS Research Fellows namely were from a cross section of students and faculty within the various Departments of the University.After the presentations, the audience raised a number of issues regarding the presentation. This led to a forty-five minute lively discussions on the various concepts, policies interventions and innovations that could be adopted to solve the identified challenges.