, Volume 83, Issue 2, pp 223–236 | Cite as

Sanitation: the neglected Siamese twin of water in achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs) in Ghana

  • Simon Mariwah


While inadequate water and sanitation services have both been implicated in a number of mortality and morbidity situations all over the world, the improvement in sanitation provision lags far behind that of water. This paper therefore seeks to examine the spatial variation in sanitation provision in Ghana and assess the factors that have contributed to the low investment in sanitation infrastructure as well as how sanitation can be improved. It revealed that the low sanitation has its roots in somewhat complicated political, institutional, economic and socio-cultural factors, including inadequate political commitment, poor monitoring, higher negative externalities associated with sanitation compared with water, and low sanitation demand resulting from poor social marketing for sanitation. Sanitation should therefore be marketed as a concept that has public health benefits and not merely as a toilet facility. Proper social marketing for sanitation and scaling up the community-led total sanitation approach should be pursued to stimulate individual demand for private sanitation.


Sanitation Water MDGs Health Ghana 



The author wishes to thank Brown International Advance Research Institutes (BIARI) and the Watson Institute for International Studies for granting him an Alumni Fellowship at Brown University in preparation of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and Regional PlanningUniversity of Cape CoastCape CoastGhana

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