Around 2.5 billion people in the world lack access to dignified sanitation services. In Ghana, coverage is abysmally low. Only 22% of the urban population have improved, non-shared facilities with shared toilets the most common service option in cities, accounting for over 60% of coverage. With rapid urbanization further complicating the issue, sanitation is a serious challenge for the country. Programs to improve the situation have been implemented, but no systematic scale-up has so far been projected to boost urban sanitation across the country.
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the birth of modern environmentalism, we should pause to give each other a virtual high five for the impressive environmental progress society has accomplished during this span. We should also think about the ways we can make the next 50 years far more effective. Case in point: many people are surprised to hear that the environment is improving. A lot. This surprise grows from the unfortunate flip side of the Earth Day legacy, which too often can focus on doomsaying and alarmism, which can make us despondent and drive poor policies.
Fishing makes a substantial contribution to Ghana’s economy and employment, sustaining the livelihoods of at least 3 million people, including half a million women. In West Africa, fish constitutes about one-third of animal protein consumed. However, the marine fish stock in Ghana is biologically over-exploited and at risk of collapsing. Catches have declined in recent decades, small-sized fish have become prevalent, and only 40% of the fish consumed in Ghana today is produced locally. Excess fishing is worsened by illegal, unreported activities and destructive techniques.