The Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) Sanitation and Water Project has been re-launched in Accra, with the presentation of 25 Ford double-cabin pickups to 11 metropolitan and municipal assemblies in the catchment area to help deal with the sanitation challenges facing the GAMA.
The US$150 million dollar project is also intended to increase access to improved sanitation and water supply in the area, with emphasis on low income communities and to strengthen the management of environmental sanitation.
With the focus of providing about 250,000 households with toilet facilities and to develop integrated GAMA-wide master plans for drainage, solid and liquid waste management, It is being implemented by the ministries of Water Resources, Works and Housing and Local Government and Rural Development.
The beneficiary assemblies include Tema and Accra Metropolitan assemblies, Ga East, West, South, Central, Ashaiman, La Dade-Kotopon, Ledzokuku-Krowor, Adenta and La Nkwantanan municipalities,
The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Alhaji Collins Dauda, inaugurating the vehicles in Accra on Friday, said the project was in line with government’s commitment to tackling sanitation issues in the capital and the nation.
Alhaji Dauda, said 560 environmental health officers and a number of public health engineers had been posted to the various assemblies to provide the needed technical support for sanitation service delivery in the-ir areas.
He said with improved water provision in the GAMA, sanitation issues were expected to improve significantly in the area should all stakeholders put their shoulders to the wheel.
He said it was unacceptable for the country to continue recording cholera cases and lose a colossal amount of money in an attempt to addressing the menace with its limited resources.
He explained that, the presentation of the vehicles to the assemblies formed part of the capacity building of the health units to efficiently carry out their monitoring and enforcement of sanitation bye-laws.
“For this reason, I would like to entreat the GAMA and particularly the environmental health officers and public health engineers to make good use of these vehicles for the purpose for which they were bought,” he said.
The lack of vehicles for monitoring purposes, the Local Government Minister said, should not be the excuse for the assemblies’ inability to tackle sanitation issues promising government’s commitment to equipping the assemblies adequately with the necessary logistics.
He urged landlords to co-operate with the health officials and provide space for the construction of toilet facilities in order to meet the objective of the project.
Mr. Harold Esseku, the World Bank representative, said Ghana had done well in meeting the provision of water, but had done poorly in addressing sanitation issues across the country.
Mr. Esseku expressed the hope that the project, if well implemented and monitored by the authorities, would change the sanitation situation in the country within a few months.
He said Ghana stood the chance of accessing the second compact of the grant if it co-ordinated the project effectively.
The Project Co-ordinator, Mr. George Asiedu, said the project would address the sanitation issues in the GAMA area, adding that it could only be successful if the public collaborated with the project team and performed their civic responsibility for a successful execution of the project.
By Julius Yao Petetsi & Janet Opoku Asantewaah