Mr. Aaron Kofi Amedzo, Ho Municipal Director of Environmental Health, has lamented the contrasting situation of many Ghanaians, wanting to be seen cute while on the very streets and alleys they contribute to keep filthy.
He observed that, whereas the past two decades had witnessed a boom in personal hygiene awareness, good sanitation practices had worsened.
Mr. Amedzo was speaking to voltaonlinegh.com, a Ho-based news website, with a slant for news on, about and related to the Volta Region.
He said because of that boom, women especially, appeared on the squalid streets better manicured, with daintier hairdos, wafting with good scents.
The focus of the interview was on the state of the sanitation in the Ho Municipality, especially the Ho township, management of garbage and attitude of individuals to sanitation issues.
Mr. Amedzo said the situation in the Municipality was “not the best,” but better that other regional capitals.
He however conceded that the general situation of non-compliance by individuals to the logical ways of waste disposal, was assuming that of a “default situation”.
That anti-good sanitation practices malaise, appears to have caught almost everybody, despite repeated education through various media, Mr. Amedzo stated.
He said it was not uncommon to see people supposed to be enlightened, surprise you by their bad attitudes.
“How many don’t we see dropping litter from their cars, people you look up to,” a pained Mr. Amedzo stated.
He said the bad practices in the area include dumping refuse in drains at the blind side of authorities and dropping litter haphazardly.
Mr. Amedzo, only three months at post, would talk only about his tenure, during which there had been no prosecutions.
He said prosecutions should be the last resort, especially in a situation where there could be mass non-compliance in some communities.
Mr. Amedzo said currently going on was education of the citizenry after which the stick- warnings, spot fines and eventually prosecutions, would be applied.
On challenges, he said the number of Environmental Health Officers in the municipality grossly mismatched the population.
Mr. Amedzo said whereas the World Health Organization (WHO) standard required an officer for between 500 and 700 people, an Environmental Health Officer in the Ho Municipality handles around 6, 666.00 people.
He said staff who swept the markets were few, and in many cases, aged and weak for the arduous job.
He added that resources were also way below service demands, making officers fired up for the job unfulfilled.
Mr. Amedzo said whereas a surgeon was posted to a hospital with a theatre, an Environmental Health Officer could be posted to an area without a final rubbish dumping site.
The interview was necessitated by the growing concern among citizens of the municipality about the worsening sanitation conditions in the area, manifested by streets, alleys, backyards and drains strewn with garbage especially rubbers.
By: Sepenyo Dzokoto & Collins Anku/voltaonlinegh.com