In Jamestown Actors combat open defecation through plays

About 85 percent of households in Jamestown do not have toilets inside their homes. Theater group Act for Change are determined to use plays to stop people from defecating in the open

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play Act for Change volunteers with health professionals
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Members of an interactive theatre group, Act for Change, have staged a performance that aims to educate the public about open defecation.

The performance on the shores of Jamestown, a fishing community in Accra, talked about the negative effects of open defecation and about the need for landlords to build toilets.

play Collins Smith, director of Act for Change


Open defecation is the practice of attending nature's call in bushes, at the beach, in drains, in plastic bags and dump sites.

play Actors in Jamestown


Kaawa yɛ biɛ, which translates as “don’t shit here”  tells the story of a confrontation between Agwao and Kpani as he (Agwao) was defecating at the beach and an intense compound house quarrel about the best place to attend nature’s call.

play Act for Change volunteers with health professionals


Related: World Toilet Day: Ghana ranked 2nd in open defecation

According to the director of Act for Change, Collins Seymah Smith, “the project is about educating people on open defecation and in Jamestown, we see it on a daily basis.

We want to add our voice and our creative efforts to drive home our message on open defecation and encourage community members to desist from it and encourage the households to build their own latrines.”

play Actors in Jamestown


Related: Three out of five Ghanaians practice open defecation, UNICEF says

According to Smith, about 85 percent of households in Jamestown do not have toilets inside their homes. The problem is not limited to Jamestown as the United Nations children’s fund, UNICEF who co-sponsored the performance with Alliance Française, estimates that it would take Ghana 500 years to eradicate the menace if the country continues at its current pace.

play Act for Change preaching against open defecation Photo Credit: Anett Jaeger


Three out of five Ghanaians engage open defecation and the country was ranked second in Africa for the practice. The country has plans to eradicate open defecation by 2025 and the Goal 6 of the SDGs enjoins countries to ensure availability of clean water and sanitation for all by 2030.

play The famous lighthouse in Jamestown Photo Credit: Pulse Ghana


Jamestown, despite its massive potential in tourism because of its colonial architecture, is one of the poorest communities in the capital. The community’s challenges include sanitation problems, teenage pregnancy and unemployment.

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