A US-based Environmental Engineer, Dr. Juliet Ohemeng Ntiamoah is asking for a total overhaul of mindset if Ghana wants to win the battle against poor sanitation conditions.

Ghana has over the years struggled to maintain healthy environments, a situation that has led to a surge in communicable diseases for some time now.

Former President John Dramani Mahama while in office, started the National Sanitation Day to ensure Ghanaians cleaned their environment at least once a month.

This move, which sought to bring back the defunct Communal Labour activity and was held every first Saturday of the month was well received but the euphoria around it has waned.

President Akufo-Addo also created a Sanitation Ministry in his bid to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa but that is yet to materialise.

Speaking on the AM Show on JoyNews, Dr. Ntiamoah believes while these activities are good, having a renewal of our mindset is the starter pack to realise this dream.

“Everything starts with understanding.  From there we can do things right. Education, mindset shift, not just for ourselves but the leaders as well. When that mindset shift is there to see waste as a resource, we’d guard it jealously. We need to know that waste can be harmful as well. It can cause diseases and illnesses,” she said.

She also told Israel Laryea that government needs to re-engineer the cities to include sewer plants in the plans.

“We are planning cities and building communities so we need to have these sewer connected lines right from the onset. Only about 4% of Ghanaians are connected to sewer lines and that must change. We need sewer lines for communities that are coming up. We need to provide wastewater treatment plans in our regions.”

She adds that wastewater, when treated properly can be used to water vegetables, a situation that will go a long way to reduce a hike in food prices and end droughts.

Dr. Ohemeng Ntiamoah also asked for the creation of green spaces to protect the environment from the hazards of the weather.

“One key thing I want to highlight is the planting of trees. We need to create more green spaces. When we have trees and green grasses, when it rains, the soil and silt won’t be washed into the drains,” she added.