Samuel Dodoo, GNA
Accra, Oct. 9, GNA – Dr Owen Laws Kaluwa, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative in Ghana, has said there will be a high level meeting of WHO delegation from October 16 to 19, in Accra.
This is to engage member countries on Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme.
The meeting would help re-assess activities on the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goal Six (SDG-6) set out by the United Nations in 2015 to ensure sustainable availability of water and management of sanitation in the member countries.
Dr Kaluwa made this known when he paid a courtesy call on Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, in Accra on Monday, to inform her about the meeting.
He said the meeting would also provide the opportunity to WASH sector organisations to highlight the importance of water and advocate for sustainable management of the resource.
“It was meant to address diseases such as cholera and other water borne diseases through the improvement of water and sanitation services in the countries, raise awareness about disaster preparedness and planning,” he said.
Dr Kaluwa said there would be a launch of strategies such as household water treatment and the WHO’s mandate to equip countries with the right knowledge, systems and resources for addressing challenges.
Madam Dapaah, on her part, said government had put in place so many interventions to ensure that sanitation issues become a thing of the past, noting that; “it will take a collective effort and commitment by all to ensure its success.”
She said sustained environmental and sanitation campaigns were needed to remind the people of the need to protect the environment at all times.
The Minister said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s wish to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa required a concerted effort and commitment of the citizenry to help achieve that goal.
Madam Dapaah called for conscientious efforts of the people to desist from practices such as gas emissions, illegal mining, indiscriminate dumping of waste and pollution of water bodies, which were factors that caused climate change.
She said the Government was committed to providing the necessary logistical and human resource in waste management with the focus on waste conversion and closure of illegal dumpsites to ensure clean environment.
“The municipal, metropolitan and district assemblies have provided facilities, infrastructural services and programmes for effective waste management to ensure the attainment of the SDG-6 for healthy environmental sanitation,” she said.
“We, therefore, look forward to a successful WHO high level meeting with member countries in Accra to share ideas on the improvement of the lives of our people.”
The Minister had earlier visited illegal dumpsites behind the International Central Gospel Church at Abossey Okai, Korle Dudor, opposite the Korle-bu Mortuary, Mallam Market and Osu Castle to ascertain the level of sanitation challenges and find solutions.
She advised residents to stop dumping waste indiscriminately, especially in drains, to prevent flooding and diseases.