President Akufo-Addo’s April 24, 2017 promise to make Accra the cleanest city on the continent, seems to have been pushed forward.
According to the Sanitation and Water Resources Minister, “the President will go for two terms and at the end of that term, Accra would have been [cleanest city] and we are on course…God is in control and the battle is still the Lords.”
Cecilia Abena Dapaah told the media when she took her turn at the Meet The Press on Tuesday that, the President is so serious with his call to the extent that he has prioritised the Ministry’s needs.
“…he has put the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources on the top priority list of government to be able to access all the budget that it needs,” she stated.
Last week, Madam Dapaah was on the ground touring some areas which were badly affected by heavy downpours that claimed some lives and destroying properties running into thousands of cedis.
The Minister made some announcements regarding strategies government intends to roll out when it comes to punishing people who indiscriminately dispose of rubbish.
“Our attitude and behaviour, are very important contributing factors in ensuring that our cities and major towns are kept clean at all times.
“Consequently, the Ministry has decided to facilitate the deployment of Sanitation Guards popularly known as Saman-saman by July this year in the MMDAs, to strengthen the enforcement of the sanitation by-laws to maintain cleanliness in our cities and towns,” she said.
According to her with the changing trends in the management of environmental sanitation services, the Ministry has found it appropriate to review the 2010 Environmental Sanitation Policy, which provides guidance and vision for the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to implement sanitation in a more structured and holistic manner.
To this end, the review process has started in earnest to address the numerous challenges when implemented.
Commenting on the development, Vice Chairman of Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation, Arthur Arhin, said although they are happy with the National Sanitation Campaign, they were well aware it was an impossible dream to achieve.
He is noted to have said that it was going to be very difficult to achieve the feat in four years because the countries Ghana was comparing herself to, have gone so far ahead.
“It was not going to take four years to catch up and overtake them,” he said.
Mr Arhin is worried about the meagre level of financing given to the sector, which makes him doubtful the funds will play any significant role in changing the sanitation narrative.
He lamented how Ghana’s financing for the sanitation sector is one of the lowest on the continent.
“How are you going to use this very limited financing to attain this feat? Apart from that, we are not enforcing our policies, laws and by-laws not to talk about recycling.
“Only 2% of the refuse we generate is recyclable the rest finds its way into drains so for me it is not about four or eight years. If we do not begin to put in place the right measures, inject resources, enforce laws and recycle we are not going anywhere,” he said.
He said he has not seen enough to convince him enough is being done in the sector over the last two years.