Findings from the 2021 Population and Housing Census General Report on Water and Sanitation indicate that 1,477,747 households in Ghana do not have access to a toilet facility (either in their household or a public toilet) which is synonymous with the practice of open defecation.
This figure represents 17.7% of the household population, with the prevalence of open defecation in rural areas (31.3%) being more than three times higher than that of urban areas (8.9%)
The percentage of households without access to toilet facilities was 19.3% in 2010 and 20.2% in 2000 indicating a reduction of 2.5 percentage points in the prevalence of open defecation over the 21-year period.
The regions with the highest proportion of households without access to toilet facilities are the Upper East (80.0%) and North East (79.7%) regions, where eight in every 10 households practices open defecation.
There are six regions where more than 100,000 households are practising open defecation: Northern (242,034), Upper East (180,797), Ashanti (111,306), Greater Accra (105,717), Volta (102,997) and Bono East (102,442).
Point of defecation for households without access to a toilet facility is predominantly bush/open field/gutter (1,380,720 households) followed by beach/water bodies (61,401 households). World Toilet Day is commemorated annually on 19th November to raise awareness of the billions of people without access to proper sanitation.
The 2021 PHC General Report Volume 3M on Water and Sanitation is available to download from www.census2021.statsghana.gov.gh.
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