No political will to deal with sanitation —Prof Gordon

The Director of the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies at the University of Ghana, Professor Chris Gordon, has lamented the lack of state support to deal with sanitation challenges more forcefully.

He observed that it is the fundamental reason Ghana has not overcome sanitation challenges despite many declarations over the years.
Prof Gordon said most notably is the Akufo-Addo-led administration’s vision to make Ghana’s capital, Accra, the cleanest city in Africa by the end of his first term.

He noted that the institute, which was founded in 2008 at the behest of President John Kufuor, had received virtually no support.

“No government since that time, apart from some small money from the late President Atta Mills, has ever given the institute any money to carry out its function.
“It is a clear example of lack of putting your money where your mouth is.

“I’m getting a little disillusioned about all the noise we make about how bad it is, meanwhile very little effort is put in place,” Prof Gordon lamented.

Aside from the lack of commitment from government, he pointed out that sanitation issues bored down to a question of poor attitudes.

“The issue has come down to what is considered to be normal in Ghana. It is normal in Ghana to pack things in a plastic bag and take it to work or the nearest gutter and dump it.
“It is normal to drink from water sachets and throw it out of the window of your car. These are behavioural and attitudinal things that any right-thinking human being will carry out appropriately,” he stressed.
Prof. Gordon agreed with the sentiment, which was a good option for the environment and the nation’s unemployment situation.

He referenced a project at Amasaman where 50 people have been trained to collect market waste and convert to compost and “they are making enough money from this to look after themselves.

“The soils of Ghana are totally degraded, lack of organic matter, water retention capacity and nutrients.
“All composts will fix, fertiliser will not fix, why we don’t give the same sort of subsidy considerations we give to fertilisers for farmers to people producing compost so that the farmers can actually improve the soils of Ghana,” Prof Gordon added. –

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