Sanitation in basic Schools - a case study in Tano-South District

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The Community Water and Sanitation Agency is mandated by the Government of Ghana to implement the Small Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Project. The overall goal is to reduce poverty through improvement of the health status of citizens living in rural areas and small towns by providing them with potable water and improved sanitation facilities. The aim of the study was therefore to come out with the current water and sanitation situations in schools in Tano South District of Ghana. The research has revealed that, the coverage of water and sanitation facilities in schools in the district are low; since the results showed that 53 % of the schools were without toilets facilities, while 83 % were without safe water. This was contrary to Ministry of Education Youth and Sports /Ghana Education Service Policy which requires that every school should have adequate water and sanitation facilities. The majority of the schools, 71 % burn then- refuse during schools' instructional hours, which causes environmental pollution. The survey revealed that 30.0 % of the pupils washed their hands with soap before eating while 70.0% washed their hands without soap before eating. This means that only 30.0 % of the school children were practicing an essential do-it-yourself vaccine which is the effective way of interrupting the transmission of disease agents. The least hygienic practice that was carried out in the district was hands washing after collection of refuse. The percentage of pupils who washed their hands with soap was 24.0% with 54.0% using only water to wash their hands. The remaining 22.0 % did not wash their hands. Indicator weighting system for sanitary facilities based on hygienic status, convenience, adequacy and technology type showed that 15 schools had total scores between 10 and 14 points out of 15 points for availability of human excreta facilities, 12 schools had total scores between 8 and 10 points out of maximum of 10 points for solid waste collection facilities and disposal methods. Similarly, 6 schools had total scores between 70 points and 100 points with six schools also scoring less than 50 points, for the hygiene behaviour and practices of school children and 10 schools scored at most 20 points out of 40 points for food vendors. The study revealed that 65.0 % of the SHEP Co-ordinators were not performing their duties effectively due to lack of funds, personnel and logistics, and this could affect the sanitation and hygiene of the schools.
A thesis submitted to The Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation