Almost half a million (449,849) households in urban areas do not have a toilet facility and are practicing open defecation while 1.3 million are using public toilet facilities.
Over half of urban households practice open defecation in the North East (54.0 percent) and Savannah (51.9 percent) regions, more than five times the national urban average of 8.9 percent.
In all, there are six regions with over 20.0 percent of urban households practicing open defecation.
This is according to the 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) General Report on Water and Sanitation.
A release issued to the Ghana News Agency by the Statistical Service on living conditions in urban areas to mark International Cities Day celebration added that one in every four households (27.7 percent) in urban areas did not have their main source of drinking water on their premises.
“This figure represents 1.4 million urban households without access to water on their premises. Out of this number, 89,922 households must travel more than 30 minutes to make a round trip to get to their main source of drinking water and return.”
It said nationally, 112,031 households in urban areas were using unimproved sources of drinking water defined as sources not adequately protected from outside contamination.
One in every four (24.0 percent) urban households was using unimproved sources of drinking water in the North East Region which recorded the highest percentage and was over ten times the national urban average of 2.2 percent.
“The Northern (10.0 percent) and Savannah (9.3 percent) regions distantly recorded the next highest percentages of households using unimproved sources in urban areas.”
The release said the 2021 PHC indicated that over a quarter of a million (316,116) households in urban areas were living in uncompleted buildings (79,721) or unconventional structures (236,395).
“Unconventional structures comprise wooden structures (143,261), kiosks or poly kiosks (78,016), or metal containers (15,118).”
One in every 10 (11.9 percent) households in urban areas in the Greater Accra Region was living in uncompleted buildings or unconventional structures.
All the other fifteen regions recorded percentages below the national urban average (5.4 percent).
World Cities Day is commemorated annually on 31st October to end the observance of Urban October, instituted to raise awareness of the challenges facing urban areas.
The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) provides comprehensive, reliable, quality, relevant, accurate and timely statistical information to guide national development as stipulated in Section 3 of the Statistical Service Act, 2019 (Act 1003).