In recent times, a significant health risk has emerged in Winneba due to inadequate sanitation practices. Winneba, a town and the capital of the Efutu Municipality in the Central Region of Ghana, is home to a population of 55,331 individuals who are grappling with the adverse effects of subpar sanitation conditions. The availability of safe drinking water and proper sanitation facilities have become a pressing concern. Presently, Winneba is contending with a marked decline in environmental sanitation, notably in areas like Akosua village, Eyipey, Sankor, and Sekegyano.
The poor state of sanitation in Winneba can be attributed to several underlying factors. Firstly, the absence of adequate sanitation facilities, including proper toilets and latrines, in both rural and urban areas is a matter of significant concern that requires immediate attention and resolution. The dearth of toilet facilities in Winneba has precipitated open defecation practices and contributed to substandard environmental hygiene. The consequences of open defecation, when combined with soil, lead to environmental pollution, water contamination, and, consequently, an elevated risk of diseases and fatalities.
Economically, the annual losses incurred due to poor sanitation amount to a range between 1% and 2.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is essential to recognize that the actual cost could potentially surpass these estimates, as they encompass only the losses linked to premature mortality, healthcare expenditures, diminished productivity, and time wasted due to the practice of open defecation.
Secondly, the improper disposal of solid waste has inflicted severe damage on the local environment. The littering of materials in the streets, lanes, and gutters has precipitated a sanitation crisis in Winneba. This habit of indiscriminate littering have adversely impacted the lives of the residents. The absence of effective waste disposal planning at the grassroots level, the inadequacy of policy implementation, and the lack of awareness are formidable obstacles to the improvement of sanitation standards.
Furthermore, the rapid surge in Winneba’s population has placed an overwhelming strain on the existing sanitation infrastructure. The increasing number of households and schools lack the necessary facilities to manage their sanitation needs. Consequently, both adults and children endure the consequences of inadequate sanitation provisions.
To address these challenges, a multifaceted approach is imperative. Initiatives must be launched to stimulate the demand for sanitation services. This entails the implementation of measures by those in authority to employ individuals tasked with cleaning the environment to foster a healthy and hygienic sanitation ecosystem. Additionally, the adoption of pit latrines, where human waste is collected in pits beneath toilets and left to decompose, along with the utilization of bio-toilets or waterless toilets, offers sustainable solutions that conserve water resources while advancing sanitation objectives.
Moreover, the provision of strategically placed dustbins in various towns and beaches, such as Eyipey, Sekegyano, Akosua Village, Sankor, Sir Charles Beach, Royal Beach, and Warabeba Beach, is crucial for effective waste management.
In conclusion, the promotion of sound sanitation behavior is paramount to ensuring the well-being of Winneba’s residents. Nevertheless, it is essential to emphasize the importance of consistently practicing good sanitation principles and policies to effect lasting change and safeguard public health.