|Francis Ganyaglo- Deputy Regional Minister|
Ghanaians have been charged to join forces with the District Assemblies and other stakeholders to effectively tackle the poor sanitation menace confronting the country.
Speaking at a durbar to climax this year’s sanitation week celebration in Ho, on the theme ‘Total sanitation, our collective responsibility’, the Deputy Volta Regional Minister, Mr. Francis Ganyaglo said sanitation is both a right and a responsibility for which individuals and households and organisations must ‘begin to do the right thing’.
Hon. Ganyanglo observed that tackling poor sanitation will boast tourism attraction in the Ho Municipality and also strengthen the socio-economic development of the Volta region.
The Deputy Minister further disclosed that poor sanitation according to a report by the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP), costs the country about 420 million Ghana cedis annually.
He therefore called on the media to also use their platforms to propagate the issues of proper sanitation practices to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals Seven (7).
The Ho Municipal Health Director, Dr. Atsu Seake-Kwawu, expressed worry about the negative attitudes of some individuals towards sanitation practices. He said as a result, malaria, typhoid diarrhoea and intestinal worm infestations are among the top 10 ailments that are reported in health facilities across the region.
He urged Ghanaians to observe basic personal hygiene practices to prevent further outbreak of diseases and also stressed the need for sanitation workers to be provided with the logistics and technical capacities to be work.
The Ho Municipality just like most assemblies across the country still grapples with inadequate logistics in tackling improper sanitation practices including open defecation; rubbish strewn alley, choked gutters and poor food hygiene by food vendors, among others. Hence the Sanitation Week celebration to sensitize residents and drum home the need for proper sanitation practices.
The week celebration which coincided with this year’s world toilet day on November, 19 was in collaboration with the North-South Local Government Coordination Programme, a sister city partnership involving the City of Lahti (Finland), and Ho (Ghana) and Bojanala Platinum (South Africa).
However most residents did not turn at the durbar organised at the RTC Park near the Ho central market, as only school pupils and officials of Decentralized Agencies participated in the programme.
Mr. Edward Gidiglo, Ho Municipal Coordinating Director speaking at the durbar said the collective effort s of every individual to avoid throwing rubbish around would result in a remarkable clean city and further stated that the Assembly would continue to involve all residents in efforts to improve sanitation of the area.
|Ms. Anna Aalto|
Ms. Anna Aalto, Project Coordinator of the North-South Local Government Coordination Programme, said sanitation remains one of the key issues in most developing countries and as human population increases, it was important for sanitation coverage to rise along with water coverage.
She also stressed the importance of recycling to both natural environment and human in minimizing pollution and its related health problems and called for commitment on the part of the environmental health officers and other stakeholders in educating the public on the need for good sanitation.
Some of the activities of the week celebration were debate, quiz and art competition among selected basics within the municipality and a massive cleanup exercise by soldiers from the 66th Artillery Regiment and their counterparts from the Fire Service at the Ho lorry station and the central market, dislodging and flushing choked drains among others.