THE Government has waived the five per cent counterpart funding which beneficiary communities in the Brong Ahafo Region contribute for the execution of an 18-million euro project for water and sanitation facilities in the region.
The decision is to enable more poor and rural communities in the region have access to water and sanitation facilities.
The Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, said this at the opening of a day’s national policy dialogue on sanitation in Sunyani.
The meeting, organised by the Centre for Sustainable Development, a local non-governmental organisation (NGO), under the auspices of the Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS), was sponsored by Water Aid, Ghana on the theme: “Improved sanitation for a better Ghana”.
It brought together stakeholders in water and sanitation to dialogue with other partners to see how best sanitation could be improved in the region and Ghana as a whole.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo stated further that the decision was also to demonstrate the Government’s commitment towards provision of affordable, safe and potable water for all, as part of the “Better Ghana” agenda.
He reiterated the Government’s commitment to find a lasting solution to the numerous challenges confronting water and sanitation sectors of the country.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo observed that the Government alone could not shoulder the responsibility, especially in the provision of sanitation facilities.
He called for the revival of the self-help spirit which had died down in recent times, stressing “if we are to progress as a nation, then people must learn how to take responsibility, especially when it came to the issue of keeping a clean and safe environment”.
The regional minister stated that most houses in the Sunyani municipality and other parts of the region did not have sanitary facilities because most landlords had turned them into bedrooms for people to rent.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo, therefore, called on the various municipal and district assemblies to strictly enforce their bye-laws on buildings to ensure that all households had the necessary sanitary facilities.
The Regional Environmental Health Officer, Mr Sylvester Ankomah, said apart from the Sunyani and Techiman Municipal Assemblies which had proper final disposal sites for both liquid and solid wastes, the rest of the assemblies lacked those facilities, compelling those assemblies to indulge in crude dumping methods.
He, therefore, appealed to local authorities to release land to the various assemblies to enable them to create permanent final waste disposal sites for effective waste management.
A Water and Sanitation Engineer at the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) in Sunyani, Mr Divine D. Dugbartey, reiterated the call on the assemblies to enforce their bye-laws on building to ensure that every household had a latrine.
He also suggested that the assemblies should establish credit schemes, for which poor households in rural communities could access to put up latrines in their homes instead of attending to the call of nature in the bush.