Interactive World Toilet Day Session at AUCC Aidoo Centre Sparks Vital Conversations

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By Vanessa Vanderpuye

Nine bottles of 500ml Bel Aqua bottled water is required to flush your water closet after using it, according to passionate environmentalist Malik Mino Ereira. The Waste Segregation & Composting Movement (WSCM) official was playing quiz master at a discussion event to mark World Toilet Day at the Ama Ata Aidoo Centre for Creative Writing at African University College of Communications, AUCC, this morning.

In this groundbreaking initiative to raise awareness about sanitation issues, the Aidoo Centre hosted this interacti

Ereira making a point

ve session, bringing together students from AUCC and Accra Technical University (ATU) to meet Environmental Health & Sanitation Directorate head Mr. Kweku Quansah and representatives from the Ministry of Sanitation & Water Resources (MSWR).

The “World Toilet Day Quiz and Discussion” event was aimed to shed light on the importance of sanitation and the urgent need to transition from open defecation to more hygienic practices in line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.

SDG 6 is about clean water and sanitation for all. It is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”.

During the session, students were led by Mr. Ereira to engage in insightful discussions, emphasizing the significance of proper sanitation and the collective effort required to address the challenges posed by open defecation. He said the quiz was based on a campaign developed by Friend In Need India, a group working on Sanitation and Waste Management for a cleaner world.

The session featured a presentation on the open defecation scale, revealing that the challenge is more pronounced in Africa than in other continents. Mr. Ereira said 4.5 Billion toilets were built between 1990 and 2015, an improvement by all standards.

Ghana came out as a beacon of progress in managing open defecation. The participants learned about the country’s commendable strides in improving sanitation and reducing open defecation rates. This success story served as inspiration for the students, fostering a sense of hope and motivation to contribute to the ongoing efforts.

“However, we have a long way to go still! The facts tell all. Ghana has reduced open defecation from 21 per cent in 2000 to 17.7 per cent in 2021. But we have less than seven years to reach Agenda 2030, to provide a clean Ghana with access to water and sanitation for all.” The environmentalist explained as the students delved into the alarming statistics highlighting the prevalence of open defecation, emphasizing the need for urgent action.

This eye-opening data spurred discussions on global efforts to tackle this issue and the importance of tailored solutions for different regions.

As the session concluded, participants left with a heightened awareness of the critical need for improved sanitation practices. The WSCM-Aidoo Centre initiative proved to be a catalyst for meaningful conversations and inspired students to take an active role in advocating for a cleaner and healthier environment.

This event marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing battle against open defecation, with education and awareness at the forefront of the fight. The collaborative effort among the WSCM, Aidoo Centre, MSWR, and ATU demonstrates the potential power of collective action in addressing pressing global challenges.

With some of the students from AUCC and ATU holding re-useable tote bags donated at the event.

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