INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Efforts to assuage poverty cannot be complete if access to good water and sanitation systems are not part. In the 2000, 189 nations adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration, and from that, the Millennium Development Goals were made. Goal 4, which aims at reducing child mortality bytwo thirds for children under five, is the focus of this study. Clean water and sanitation considerably lessen water-related diseases which kill thousands of children every day (UN, 2006). According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 1.1 billion people lacked access to an enhanced water supply in 2002, and 2.3 billion people got illfrom diseases caused by unhygienic water. Each year 1.8 million people die from diarrhoea diseases, and 90% of these deaths are of children under five years (WHO, 2004).
Ghana Water Company Limited had traditionally been the major stakeholder in the provision of safe water and sanitation facilities. Since the 1960’s the GWCL has focused its activity in the urban areas at the expense of rural areas (GWCL, 2007) and thus, rural communities in the Ekiti state are no exception. According to the Ghana 2003 Core Welfare Indicators Questionnaire (CWIQ II) Survey Report (GSS, 2005), roughly 97% in Accra, 86% in Kumasi and 94% in Sekondi-Takoradi owned pipe-borne water. Once more, the report show that a few households do not own any toilet facilities and depend on the bush for their toilet needs, that is 2.1%, 7.3%, and 5% for Accra, Kumasi, and Sekondi-Takoradi correspondingly. Access to safe sanitation, improved water and improved waste disposal systems are more of an urban than rural occurrencein Ghana. In the rural poor households, only 9.2% have safe sanitation, 21.1% use improved waste disposal method and 63.0% have access to improved
water. The major diseases prevalent in Ghana are malaria, yellow fever, schistosomiasis (bilharzias), typhoid and diarrhoea. Diarrhoea is of critical concern since it has been recognized as the second most universal disease treated at clinics and one of the major contributors to infant mortality (UNICEF, 2004). The infant mortality rate in Ghana stood at about 55 deaths per 1,000 live births (CIA, 2006).
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ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION AND IMPLICATION ON THE HEALTH OF THE CHILDREN IN THE RURAL AREA IN EKITI