Ghana: Stakeholders Call for Attitudinal Change, Enforcement of Law to Tackle Sanitation

Stakeholders at a sanitation forum in Accra have called for attitudinal change and enforcement of existing sanitation laws to address sanitation challenges facing the country.

According to them, Ghana had laws on sanitation from the colonial era and that there was no need for additional laws but rather for duty bearers to see to it that the laws were respected and enforced.

The stakeholders said this on Friday at a stakeholder’s forum on sanitation organised by Graphic Communications Group Limited on the theme “Managing sanitation: How to lift the nation from filth.”

The Director General, Ghana Health Service, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare said health and environmental professionals should be made to maintain and stimulate changes in the communities to control the canker.

He said hygiene education in primary and kindergarten schools was necessary, adding that it should be included in sanitation and water programmes to communicate knowledge to the children.

He called for the change of habits and long term beliefs about hygiene, encouraging stakeholders to involve children in the process who he described as catalysts of tomorrow’s change.

Mr Nsiah-Asare was of the view that, children would grow to implement better sanitation practices which would be sustained and in turn protect the health and lives of the citizenry.

He said close involvement of all relevant sectors and identification of the multiple ways of managing waste, avoidance of unsanitary conditions and enforcement of the laws were ways to addressing the sanitation challenge of the country.

“We need to see the economic potentials in waste and take advantage of it,” he added.

Dr Nsiah-Asare stated that Ghanaians needed to purge themselves of all filth that have hindered development, progress and prosperity.

He advocated the passage of the waste disposal public cleansing law to make it an offence to dirty the environment adding that, the law would impose on every citizen the duty to keep himself and his surroundings clean.

It should therefore be an offence punishable by law if you live in unsanitary conditions and called on the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources to pass the waste disposal cleansing law.

“With this law if you are seen in town and you are dirty and disposing rubbish around indiscriminately, you will be arrested and prosecuted,” he said.

Dr Nsiah-Asare recommended that the law also imposes on all district assemblies the duty to provide properly controlled and cited sanitary sites in the communities adding that a toilet facility should be provided to a community of 10,000 people.

An Environmental Sanitation Consultant, Mr Kwame Asiedu Asubonteng said there should be an independent regulator to monitor and crack the whip on sanitation issues of law enforcement agencies and other national agencies.

He said the generation and collection of waste should move from the old order to making it an individual responsibility and use community engagements in tackling sanitation issues.

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