Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

UNICEF works to ensure that every child thrives in a clean environment




In spite of the progress that has been made to ensure that children and families every part of the country have access to safe drinking water, data has shown that 76 per cent of households are a risk of drinking water contaminated with faecal matter.


Major challenges affecting basic rural sanitation delivery includes lack of planning and coordination of programmes aimed at improving sanitation and this is due to limited staffing in the various institutions and limited resources for capacity building and implementation of programmes.

As at 2015, only one rural household out of ten were using improved household toilets while three in every ten of them practiced open defecation and not a single district in Ghana has achieved an open defecation-free status.

There is no clear urban basic sanitation strategy and plan in Ghana. Various approaches and interventions in urban basic sanitation are not effectively coordinated and monitored. Unlike rural communities, social mobilization for sanitation and hygiene promotion in urban settlements is quite complicated due to its cosmopolitan and multi-cultural nature.  However, sanitation is a social and public good whereby every citizen needs to participate in discussions and decisions that will benefit everybody.


The Ghana Demographic and Health Survey reveals that while more than half of Ghanaian households have a designated place for washing hands, only about one household out of every five has water or other cleansing agents available at home.

Children washing their hands before returning to their classrooms after recess on 16 April 2018.


In Ghana, UNICEF supports the government to develop appropriate strategies for effective drinking water supply services, hygiene promotion and good sanitation. UNICEF also supports the government to demonstrate effective approaches and develop capacities of institutions and community structures. UNICEF also supports government and civil society institutions to advocate for effective policies and strategies, which are also supported by the development of a reliable evidence base through research.


Find out more on how UNICEF works with partners to provide safe water and sanitation and promote hygiene practices