A claim by the president – Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo on the 20th February, 2020 that 13,800 toilets had been built in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2020 is a total exaggeration and an utmost fabrication.
On the contrary, out of the 13,800 figure put out so far by the president, we at the Environmental and Mining Policy Institute (EMPI) can certainly confirm that our checks indicate that, of the total number of 13,800 quoted by the president, only 8500 representing 62% can be accepted as true. The excess number of 5300 is a fudge.
In his SONA on the 20th February 2020, the president said “in fulfilment of our manifesto commitment of “toilets for all”, we have built thirteen thousand, eight hundred (13,800) toilets, which is largely responsible for this development. Mr Speaker, we have not stopped building toilets, we will build more.”
On the issue of sanitation in general, the president said “Mr Speaker, we are seeing an improvement in the quality of our nation’s sanitation, even though we still have a lot more to do. According to the Northern Regional Environmental Health Unit, in the three Northern Regions, (Savannah, North East and Northern), the number of Open Defaecation Free Communities (ODF) has increased from five percent (5%) as at June 2016 to some fifty-eight (58%) as at July 2019.
“The latest data from the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources shows that ODF communities in Ghana as a whole have increased from four hundred and ten (410) in 2016 to over five thousand (5,000) communities. Now, that is progress, and it did not just happen, it took hard work, commitment and the provision of infrastructure”.
The only way the president could justify this number is to add the about 6000 toilets nationwide that were awarded for contract by Ghana First Company Limited in 2018. After one year of the award of such contracts, some of the contractors numbering 130 have accused the company of fraud ( https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/130-contractors-accuse-Ghana-First-Company-of-scam-776444 ) because of their inability to receive payments.
Ghana First Company Limited [GhFCL] ,a waste Management firm by Mr. Frank Akulley signed a memorandum of understanding with Thermodul System GmBH, a German Company and subsequently entered into a PPP agreement with the Government through the Local Government Ministry and the Sanitation Ministry to construct 20,000 units of modern automated toilet facilities across all Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts across the country at cost of $300,000,000.
The Company subsequently opened tender for the construction of the first set of the facilities with target of constructing 10,000 of its Toilet facility model and put into operation by 2025.