By Samuel Duodu, Sunyani
GHANAIANS have been urged to consider paying a token for the waste they generate, to help the central government and the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to manage the waste and sanitation issues of the country effectively.
“The government and for that matter the MMDAs used more than half of their budget in addressing the waste and sanitation problems of the country in their various jurisdictions and it was therefore high time that such an option was considered by all Ghanaians to help generate funds for waste management and sanitation in the country.”
Mr Adu Boadi Acheampong, the co-chairman of the Transitional Team’s Task Force on Waste Management and Sanitation- 100 Days Programme, made the suggestion when he led a three-member team of the task force to the Sunyani Municipal Assembly on Wednesday, to access the waste management and sanitation situation of the assembly, as well as ensure the achievement of President J.E.A. Mills’s vision to rid the country of filth within 100 days in office.
The co-chairman noted that Ghanaians should consider such a move, in order to help institutions tasked with the responsibility to manage waste in the country, to deal effectively with the waste they have created in the system, adding that such a suggestion should be embraced by all, as in the case of utilities.
He stated that when in the past communities were asked to pay for the use of stand pipes in the absence of taps in their various homes, they initially kicked against the idea but they later saw the need and embraced it and therefore, maintained that, the same should be adopted for waste management in the country.
Mr Acheampong noted that the sanitation problem of the country was attitudinal and therefore, called on the MMDAs and the various departments and agencies tasked with waste management to intensify their public education and adopt new measures as well as strategies to contain the situation.
He called on the law courts to also assist the assemblies to enforce their byelaws on sanitation and environment by imposing heavy fines or punishments on offenders so as to serve as a deterrent.
Mr Acheampong also appealed to waste management experts, to also take into consideration the health of the people, when selecting the final dumping sites for assemblies, saying the team observed that most of the final waste disposal sites, were very close to rivers and streams, which in effect rendered some of those water bodies in the country dead.
He cited the Korle Lagoon in the Greater Accra Region and the Pemu Stream in Dormaa Ahenkro in the Brong Ahafo as classic examples.
Mr Simon Opoku, the Sunyani Municipal Environmental Officer for his part disclosed that the department had intensified its house-to-house and community inspection to ensure that people kept their surroundings and homes clean at all times.
He also disclosed that a number of people in the municipality who were arrested and sent to court for sanitation related offences and prosecuted, were fined Gh¢72 each.
The Coordinating Director of the Sunyani Municipal Assembly, Mr. Gyamfi Ameyaw, pledged that the assembly would intensify its public education on sanitation and also enforce its byelaws strictly.