Discussants call for establishment of national sanitation authority

Discussants at a media engagement have advocated the reactivation of processes to establish the national sanitation authority which has been stalled.

They argued that after years of stalling, the cabinet memorandum on the establishment of the authority had not received an approval even though some initial stakeholder engagements had been undertaken.

The discussants included Ama Ofori Antwi, Executive Secretary of Environmental Service Providers Association, Yaw Attah Arhin, Wash Technical Coordinator and Kwaku Quansah, Deputy Director, Environmental Safety Health Division (ESHD) of Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR).

They engaged the media on best ways to establish and implement the national sanitation authority and the national sanitation fund.

It was organised by the Media Coalition against Open Defecation (MCODe) in collaboration with Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor.

 Mr Arhin noted that there was limited progress by the government in areas such as the establishment of a national sanitation fund, to enforce sanitation bye-laws and the reason for stalling was politicisation and called on the government to put in place appropriate institutional mechanisms to oversee the efficient and sustainable management of waste.

A representative from the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, Adama Kurankyi, in a speech read on behalf of the Minister of Sanitation assured Ghanaians of the government’s commitment towards addressing the hydra-headed sanitation challenges facing the country.

He said the remarkable achievements under the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) Sanitation and Water project with the key objectives of increasing access to improved sanitation and water supply to low income beneficiaries was a clear demonstration of the acceleration required to improve the sanitation sub-sector.

“The GAMA Project has constructed over 25,000 household toilets to benefit 200,000 low income target population, within an effective period of two years, with the assessment, the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) report of 2017/2018 by the Ghana Statistical Service reported an increase from 15 to 21 per cent.

“However a national body needed to take the overall responsibility for sanitation will ensure that the required legal framework for the achievement of a cleaner and healthier environment is in place and under one body and will also ensure that all aspects of waste management and environment sanitation are appropriately handled in a technical and professional manner,” Mr Kurankyi noted.

He said the plan for the NSA was still on course and would be staffed and relevant technical and professional staff with required knowledge and training to deal with areas like liquid and solid waste management, drain maintenance, storm water management and monitoring and evaluation.

Dr Tanko Azzika, Research Advocacy and Policy Influencing Lead said across all countries, no single organisation took responsibility for all the activities but the various functional features were usually divided across a range of different organisations.

BY BENDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY

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