The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has launched a two-year environmental sanitation project where members will use the various media platforms to educate the public on good sanitation practices.
The project forms part of the GJA 70th anniversary celebration and being done in collaboration with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, Zoomlion Ghana and Environmental Service Providers Association.
It had the theme, ‘Media for improved environmental sanitation behaviour change and compliance’ and also enjoined the government and its agencies to deliver on their responsibilities in making Accra the cleanest city.
Speaking at the launch in Accra yesterday, the GJA president, Mr Affail Monney said, waste management has become a developmental challenge that threatened human health, the environment and poverty reduction.
He said waste management in particular and environmental sanitation in general, had been placed at the lower echelon of governance due to competitive national demands for financing programmes such as food insecurity, healthcare, water shortage and unemployment.
He added that poor sanitation and waste management had been attributed to a number of factors including rapid population growth, uncontrolled industrial development, weak law enforcement regime, poor attitude and behaviour of citizens towards the environment.
Mr Monney noted that the initiative would be facilitated through the various media houses to strategically marry their commercial and social interests.
It would further act as the mouthpiece for public education, information and dissemination.
The Chief Executive Officer of AMA, Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah, who expressed gratitude for the step taken by the GJA, said about 3,000 tonnes of waste ware generated daily in Accra.
He said the issue of sanitation and waste management should be the collective efforts of all and sundry to make Accra the cleanest city and urged other organisations to emulate same.
The Deputy Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Mr Michael Gyato said government was committed to curbing the sanitation challenges confronting the country.
He said despite government efforts, there should be a behavioural change to improve the sanitation service delivery in the country.
He therefore, urged the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to arrest and prosecute those who defy sanitation laws.
BERNARD BENGHAN & MALISA TETTEH