Students and their teachers in 10 Senior High Schools (SHS) in the Northern Region are practicing Open Defecation (OD), survey revealed.
The wide spread of Open Defecation in all studied schools included both male and female students.
The students defecate in the bush not only at night, but during the day time as well, a teacher confessed to the researchers.
The teacher is also quoted as saying that “the toilet for students are very dirty and even full compelling them to free themselves in the bush.
The findings also found that, there are no anal cleansing material such as T-roll available for both teachers and students in all senior high schools.
The survey sampled 77% female students between the ages of 15-19 years and 23% male students from the 10 schools in the northern region views on WASH facilities.
About 40% of the students were form 2 and 50% form 3 students. The objective of the survey was to gather and document credible evidence to advance advocacy with Ghana Education Service GES and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) on standard WASH facilities in Senior high schools.
It was also to provide reliable information to policy makers, program managers and other relevant stakeholders to further strengthen WASH in schools.
Students revealed to the researchers that, they use papers from their exercise books and sometimes from reading books as cleansing material.
Resource Mobilization and Monitoring and Evaluation Manager at NORSAAC, Mr Issah Amin Danaa disclosed this when he presented the findings on State of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (Wash) Facilities in Senior High Schools in Northern Ghana at the validation workshop in Tamale.
Mr Danaa pleaded with the heads of the various SHS to take the issue serious because it can be a recipe for cholera outbreak. The survey centered on the state of WASH facilities in SHSs in Northern Ghana.
In some of the SHSs, the toilet are very smelly and has been full for the past three years, a female student lamented.
Some of the toilets the survey found out are now like death traps with deep cracks with no lights.
The survey specific objectives was to identify WASH challenges in SHSs in Northern Ghana with focus on Northern Region, to examine the impact of WASH challenges on students and teachers and recommend ways to strengthen WASH in senior high schools.
In all schools, the issue of students attending classes without taking their bath due to water scarcity (NOT HARMATTAN) was recorded.
It resulted in the formation of YOBO in Schools: ‘You Bath Only Once’ in a week clubs in schools.
The survey also uncovered a new phenomenon adopted by the students called the 'bundle bathing' where students bundled their
weekly baths on Monday.
Over 80% of students toilet facilities in the SHSs schools are not clean and the reason that there is no maintenance plans.
The finding also revealed that over 80% of the toilets have no lights making impossible to be use at night.
A 3rd year female student at Kpandai SHS was bitten by snake while she was attending nature call in the bush near her school.