Dr Freda Akosua Prempeh, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, has urged metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) to make their bye-laws punitive enough to surcharge waste management companies that delay in offloading fill up garbage bins within their jurisdictions.
The move, she said, would make the waste management companies more responsible and proactive towards ending deluge of trash witnessed in most Ghanaian communities.
Dr Prempeh gave the suggestion at the Minister's news briefing organised by the Ministry of Information in Accra on Friday.
The briefing focused on the topic, 'Cleaning for Safe, Healthy and Sustainable Ghana,' ahead of the 'World Clean-Up Day' on Saturday, September 30, 2023.
The day would be observed throughout the country with cleaning of frontage and dislodging of choked drains between the hours of 06:00 and 10:00.
The minister tasked the Assemblies to make sure all shops are closed during the period of the exercise to ensure maximum participation.
All educational institutions, churches, keep fit clubs, civil society organisations and assemblies are entreated to join the clean-up exercise to make it a success.
In view of the indiscriminate dumping of garbage by some tricycle operators who collect waste from homes, Dr Prempeh hinted that a Sanitation Authority would soon be set up to regulate dumping of waste materials.
The Ministry, she said, would soon launch a comprehensive behavioural change campaign christened 'Sesa W) Su Ban,' which literally means 'change your behaviour' to whip up public sentiment towards observing environmental cleanliness.
To enhance the attainment of the government's vision of a clean Ghana and sustainable WASH service delivery, the minister underscored the need for all stakeholders to actively play their prescribed roles effectively.
The Ministry, she said, has been established to develop policies that would enhance the delivery of WASH services in the country.
The Assemblies, she said, were mandated to undertake the provision of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities and services and enforce the bye-laws on sanitation within their jurisdiction.
'Households, on the other part, are expected to make the waste available for collection and disposal and keep hygienic surroundings as well as pay the requisite fees for the services being provided by the MMDAs,' Dr Prempeh emphasised.
She stated that the government since 2017 had invested in water and sanitation facilities, with the huge investment increasing the population with access to basic drinking water services from 79% in 2017/2018 to 87.7% in 2021.
The population with access to exclusive household toilet facilities increased from 21% in 2017/2018 to 25.3% in 2021, the minister added.
In addition, the proportion of water bodies with good Ambient Water Quality increased from 51.5 in 2017 to 58.2 in 2021, Dr Prempeh stated.
The proportion of solid waste properly disposed of in five major towns/cities, increased from 70% in 2017 to 85% in 2021, the minister stated.
The Government, she said, recognised the importance of water and sanitation sectors and had placed premium on enhancing the delivery of water and sanitation services to the citizenry.
Ghana was the first country to sign the Sanitation and Water for All Compact, which made it possible to prioritize WASH services delivery through deliberate and focused committed programmes, with clearly defined plans for funding.
As a result, Ghana was able to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on Water, five clear years before the deadline, the minister added.
Source: Ghana News Agency