Kasoa, April 13, GNA – Residents of Ofaakor,
near Kasoa in the Awutu Senya East Municipality (ASEMA) have called for
increased education and support, to improve solid waste disposal in the area to
keep the environment clean and healthy.
This was at a focus-group discussion organised by Intervention Forum (IF), a local NGO, to assess the level of sanitation and hygiene services, provided by the municipal assembly and Zoomlion Ghana Limited, a private waste management company.
It brought together more than 30 participants – made up of women and youth groups, assembly and unit committee members and persons with disabilities.
The discussions focused on improved solid waste disposal options/services, cleaning of streets and drains, inclusive/disability-friendly institutional and public toilets, and support towards building of household toilets.
Food hygiene regulation and construction of drains also featured prominently.
The participants expressed discomfort with what they said was the worsening environmental sanitation in Kasoa and its surrounding communities.
Officials of the NGO, led by Nana Kwasi Acheampong, Joshua Elorm and Isaac Owusu, took them through the use of the community scorecard tool to evaluate the sanitation and hygiene services by the assembly and waste management companies - the extent of work and the level of general satisfaction with the services they had been rendering.
This was used to measure the various services based on the degree to which these responded to citizens’ needs – accessibility and cost affordability.
Added to this was the degree to which the services were adequate, properly functioning and reliable.
The services assessed included the provision of inclusive disability-friendly institutional and public toilets, support towards improved household toilets, collection, transport and disposal of solid and liquid waste.
Also considered were environmental sanitation and hygiene education, information and regular feedback on constraints - delays in scheduled collection, bye-laws enforcement, management and redress of community sanitation-related complaints.
Bad environmental practices they identified involved open defecation, dumping of rubbish into drains, overflowing refuse containers, bushy surroundings and indiscriminate dumping of household refuse.
They asked for stepped up public education campaign to promote improved sanitation and hygiene and said it should also be sustained.
They demanded that the assembly and Zoomlion provided more refuse bins and skip containers alongside affordable house-to-house waste collection services.
Apart from affordability, they rated all the other services as either average or low.