The rate of open defecation is said to have been increased from 8 per cent to 11 per cent in urban areas from 2014 to 2017.

Officials in some Assemblies have expressed worry over the trend and are warning and are taking steps to address the problem.

In a presentation to launch the ‘Basic Sanitation Fund’ in Ashiaman on Tuesday, the Municipal Environmental Officer, Patrick Tsigbey projected that there has been a 3 per cent increase in open defecation at urban areas.

He noted that 5,103 toilets were expected to be built in Ashaiman with the hope that the target would be met at the end of the programme in 2019.

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Meanwhile, the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly (ASHMA) has given residents up to February 28, 2019, to construct a decent household toilet facility or face prosecution.

Ashaiman Municipal Chief Executive, Albert Boakye Okyere, issued the ultimatum during the launch of the Fund.

Mr Okyere said, residents must take advantage of the Basic Sanitation Fund to get a household toilet within the stipulated period or be prosecuted in accordance with the Assembly’s bye-laws on sanitation.

He indicated that in order to eradicate open defecation within the Municipality, it was important that every household constructed a toilet facility for its residents.

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He further noted that open defecation was the primary cause of diseases such asdiarrhea, typhoid, intestinal worm infections and cholera.

Mr Boakye Okyere explained that the moratorium was issued in consonance with the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly’s bye-laws on sanitation and waste management which was in line with the provisions of the National Building Regulations.

He charged the 25 trained artisans on the new toilet technology to intensify their sensitisation process to ensure that everyone was captured.

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“We want to promote environmental health quality for the people living within our environs,” he stressed.

The Basic Sanitation Fund had been launched in the Ho Municipal Assembly, Tamale Metropolitan Assembly with the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly been the latest among the three targeted Assemblies.

The project was funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and supported by the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund(UNICEF)with seed money of $500,000.