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Communal cleaning not solution to Ghana’s sanitation problem- Bentil

The vice president of Imani Ghana, Kofi Bentil is advocating the eradication of the National Sanitation Day indicating that, communal cleaning must stop because it is not the solution to the sanitation problem in the country.

He said, ‘’a country where corporate heads, doctors are seen cleaning the streets is an example of a failed state.

Laborers should be employed to do that job.

He made this statement on Tuesday in Accraduring an Imani Africa’s Lecture and National Discourse on the theme:  Ghana’s Sanitation Strategy has failed.  Why and how do we get it right?

On the part of the Accra Mayor, Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, ‘’if all of us deal with sanitation issues in our respective offices, public places and houses, half of the problem will be solved.’’

It is not a waste of time to tell the leaders to help clean their environment. ‘’it is a way of telling them to wake-up. If you are a leader and you don’t make sure your surrounding is clean, then you will be compelled to clean it’’.

The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Hon. Joseph Kofi Adda in his presentation hinted of plans to deploy sanitation brigades to enforce sanitation laws and help shape attitudes towards good sanitation.

During the President 2018 State of the Nation address, the President said ‘’ urgent attention will be given to clearing of rubbish all around the country. Apart from the systematic efforts being made to resolve the legacy of inherited debts in the sector, government will spend an amount of GH 200 million to address the issue of sanitation.

‘’Government is working with various private sector authorities to tackle this major challenge with strategies that are intended to effect a change in our attitudes towards waste and filth as well as improve dramatically our methods of waste management. This will be complemented by the strict enforcement of sanitation rules and regulations.’’

 

The past 20 years has seen Ghana (especially Accra and major cities) wrestle and continually fail at sanitation and refuse management. We have had national mobilizations led by Presidents cleaning gutters as a show of leadership to expensive municipal projects and huge private sector involvement in the bid to get a handle on sanitation and refuse management, all have failed, leading to Ghana being known as a global power in open defecation, deaths due to cholera, and Accra being rated as very dirty city in publications both local and foreign, an unbefitting accolade for a nation which holds itself out as a leader in Africa.

We have scored some victories though, small, such as stopping the dumping of faeces in the ocean at ‘’Lavender Hill’’ raising a few private waste disposal companies including a multinational waste management company. Despite all these, Ghana has not solved its waste disposal problem and we don’t seem to have clarity on how to do it.

 

By: Latifa Carlos

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