By Laudia Sawer
Tema, Nov 29, GNA - Officials of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) Sanitation and Water Project have appealed to residents of the Tema Metropolis to have trust in the project.
Mrs Bertha Essel, Project Coordinator for the GAMA project at the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA), who made the appeal, said some residents feared they would be duped should they register for the project.
Mrs Essel, speaking at a day’s workshop for journalists in Tema on the project, said the lack of trust in the implementer was delaying the target of providing 22,000 household toilets in beneficiary communities in the Tema Metropolis by the year 2018.
She lamented that some registered residents sometimes come back to request for the monies paid due to influence from their neighbours.
Explaining how the project works, she noted that the World Bank had given a grant of 150 million US dollars for the implementation of the project in all the 11 beneficiary metropolitan and municipal assemblies.
The grant, she said would cater for 50 per cent of the cost of a household toilet facility while residents pay in installment for the remaining 50 per cent which she stated receipts would be issued to cover.
She indicated that while the full cost of a standalone toilet cost GC4,000, a standard digester could also be constructed at a full cost of GC2,200, adding that beneficiary households were expected to pay only half of the stated amount.
Residents in Tema Newtown (Bankuman, Ziginshore, Manhean, Ashaman, Awudum, Sealite), Adjei-Kojo (Suncity, promiseland), Lashibi and Klagon are the beneficiary communities in the Tema Metropolis.
Mrs Essel said since the inception of the project, her outfit had registered 550 households out of which 112 had completed payment of the 50 per cent cost, 82 toilet facilities had been completed and handed over while 23 were still in progress and seven were yet to be started.
Lawyer Osei Kodwo, a lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Journalism, urged journalists to use their work to improve the well-being of society instead of being loyal to the Assembly or politicians.
Lawyer Kodwo encouraged media practitioners to make use of the 1992 Constitution and other laws to ensure a well-balanced story.
Mr Isaac Ashai Odamtten, Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, said the TMA was doing its best to improve sanitation in the Metropolis and called on residents and industries to embrace good environmental practices.
Mr Odamtten noted that the Assembly was prepared to help residents acquire the needed decent toilet facility to ensure the end to open defecation in the beneficiary areas.