Social and Environmental Factors Associated with Open Defecation in The Tolon District in Ghana
Keywords:Open Defecation, Sanitation, Social, Environmental
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) emphasize the need to end the practice of open defecation by the year 2030. Open defecation practices in every society are surrounded by social and environmental factors, which must be well understood before any sanitation programme to be implemented can hope to be effective. This study sought to investigate the social and environmental factors associated with open defecation in the Tolon district in Ghana. Residents of Tolon District above 18 years and had been living in the for more than 3 months were randomly sampled. A descriptive cross-sectional quantitative design was employed to collect data via a questionnaire. Data collected was then analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) application. The results indicated that the availability of toilets/latrines was a major social factor found to be associated with open defecation at Tolon District. Another factor observed was the affordability of latrines for people in the Tolon district. The distance between a toilet facility and a household was also seen to be too far from various households. Unsanitary conditions of public toilets as well as their maintenance statuses have been seen to contribute to the decision of people to adopt open defecation. It was recommended that there should be maintained and sanitary cultures for the latrines and toilets available in Tolon. Inhabitants of Tolon district ought to be educated on the negative implications of practising open defecation.