Accra, May 31, GNA – The Metropolitan,
Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have been urged to intensify efforts
at improving on the insanitary conditions in the communities.
They have been asked to focus much attention on the fight against open defecation and poor environmental sanitation to reduce the perennial outbreak of cholera and maintain a healthy citizenry.
Stakeholders in sanitation made the call at a four-day Urban Sanitation Forum in Accra.
It was on the theme: “Taking Urban Sanitation Solution to Scale.”
The forum was jointly organised by the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources in collaboration with the World Bank and the Global Partnership for Output-Based Aid.
It was aimed at taking stock of the implementation of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area – Sanitation and Water Project (GAMA-SWP), challenges and the lessons learnt of the ongoing urban sanitation interventions in Ghana, and how best to include private sector participation in the project.
The forum was attended by sanitation experts from some African countries, civil society organisation, bankers, private and project development entities, which was preceded by a discussion on Ghana’s experiences in scaling up household sanitation.
It was also meant to review issues and develop a road-map for scaling up emerging solutions for improving urban sanitation, which would be in line with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision of making Accra the Cleanest City in Africa.
Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said there was the need for a conscious effort to address the sanitation and environmental challenges facing the country.
He said the choice of Accra by the World Bank to host this knowledge sharing forum, provided the platform for scientists, technologists, and experts in the sanitation service chain to exchange ideas on practical and efficient ways of waste management.
He said the holistic solutions that would come from stakeholders must address the attitudinal, infrastructural and economic aspects of life, particularly in the low-income communities.
Mr Adda highlighted the need for more coordination among financiers and the opportunity to leverage best practices and identify financing options for funding waste management projects.
This could build the synergy needed to make a difference in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (6).
The Minister said the Government had released GH¢80 million to settle outstanding debts, some dating as far back as 2012, to cover operation costs of waste landfill sites in the country.
Mr George Asiedu, the Coordinator of GAMA-SWP, said some measures had been taken to review the Environmental Sanitation Policy, introduce strategic investment plans and involve the private sector in waste management.
Mr Henry Kerali, the Country Director of the World Bank, expressed concern about the impunity with which people defecated openly around the communities.
He said the time was ripe to ensure good sanitation by putting a stop to open defecation and deal with wrongful disposal of waste.