Smart enforcement of sanitation by-laws in Ghana

Themes: Public/shared toilets Regulation Research Sanitation Urban Sanitation Research Initiative
Countries: Ghana

This Policy Brief reports a research project that identified ways of improving enforcement of by-laws requiring urban landlords to provide acceptable sanitation facilities for their tenants. In Ga West, as in other Ghanaian municipalities, by-laws requiring landlords to provide adequate sanitation exist: but they are rarely enforced.

Nearly half of landlords are unaware of the existence of such by-laws. Most tenants (93%) who are aware of the by-law have not lodged any complaint with the relevant authority (the Environmental Health & Sanitation Department), for fear of eviction.

The key barriers to the construction of household and compound toilets in Ghana are lack of capital, limited land space, and the wide availability of public toilets. Ga West Municipal Authority (the regulator) reports a number of critical bottlenecks to enforcement, including a lack of financial resources and incentives.