By Patience Gbeze/Kodjo Adams, GNA
Accra, Jan. 31, GNA - The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources in collaboration with stakeholders have organised a forum on proposals for the preparation of an Integrated Urban Environmental Sanitation Master Plan (IUESMP) for the Accra Metropolitan Area.
The Master Plan will provide a safe and effective management of environmental sanitation, including solid and liquid waste and also provide guidance for the implementation of future environmental sanitation and drainage improvements.
The Master Plan is being prepared by WAPCOS Limited, a government of Indian undertaking in association with Watertech Limited, Ghana, and funded by the World Bank.
Mr Ismael Ashitey, the Greater Accra Regional Minister said government is implementing the GAMA Sanitation and Water Project with assistance from the World Bank, which covered the 11 Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies in the Greater Accra region.
He said the preparation of the Master Plan was timely due to government’s commitment to drive its policy of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa.
He noted that good sanitation practice was an important driver of good health, economic and social development of any nation.
The Minister said despite the progress chalked in other areas of national development, such as poverty reduction, education, water supply and health, little progress had been made on environmental sanitation.
He said less than 20 per cent of the population had access to improved sanitation, which was unacceptable and needed a collective and urgent action to address the issue.
Mr Ashitey said a number of sanitation and water related projects and programmes were already being implemented in the capital city, including excreta disposal, solid waste management and storm drainage.
He expressed worry about the multiplicity and uncoordinated nature of projects and programmes in Accra, saying that, “the situation do not support the realisation of optimum benefits of the investments in the well intentioned programme and project areas”.
Mr George Asiedu, Project Coordinator for the IUESMP said environmental sanitation components to be covered under the Master Plan, include solid wastes, liquid wastes, excreta, industrial wastes, health-care and other hazardous wastes.
He said key outputs of the project would be the drainage basin plans, proposal of legal instruments and institutional arrangements for management of environmental sanitation, urban sanitation and drainage manuals and medium-term programmes to address sustainable service delivery.