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Stakeholders in Water, Sanitation Dialogue in Tamale

2006-12-08 13:21:41
This article has been read 818 times.

The Ghana Coalition of NGOs in the Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) sector on Thursday attended a day's policy dialogue in Tamale with a call on policy makers to take the political will and enforce environmental by-laws to protect surface water and improved sanitation.

They said sanitation was still a serious environmental threat in the country's development and called for the reintroduction of the Sanitary Inspection system popularly known as "Nsaman Nsaman" to improve sanitation.

It was on the theme: "Sanitation, our collective responsibility" and was aimed at soliciting views of participants on how to address poor sanitation issues in the country.

Environmental experts from the Tamale Metropolis, the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment (MLGRDE), the Town and Country Planning and the Ministry of Health (MOH), addressed participants and urged them to join hands with the relevant institutions to address the problem.

The Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) sponsored the programme, which also sought to help deepen understanding on sanitation financing, instituting measures on sustainable financing of refuse collection and to suggest and discuss other possible options for financing refuse collection.

Mr Thomas Sayibu Imoro, Chairman of CONIWAS, addressing the participants at the seminar said Ghana's position on environmental sanitation emphasised developing and maintaining a clean and safe environment for human habitation.

He said ensuring good sanitation was a joint responsibility of all stakeholders and community members to improve their health, productivity and welfare to ensure that Ghana attracted more investors to boost the economy.

Mr Iddi Asumah, Tamale Metropolitan Environmental Officer, said there were about 27 by-laws in the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly but their enforcement was a problem and called on the public to be each other's watchdog on environmental cleanliness to ensure a healthy environment.

He said nine out of ten households in the Tamale Metropolis had no access to toilets, a situation that escalated the sanitation problem and advised developers to factor in toilets in their buildings to transform Tamale.

Mr Eden Gbekor-Kove, an official of the Town and Country Planning, blamed the poor sanitation problems in the country to the emergence of slums, due to rapid developments in urban centres.

Alhaji Mustapha Ali Iddris, Northern Regional Minister in a speech read on his behalf said the people needed to be educated more to understand their roles and responsibilities about environmental management to avoid negative acts to degrade it.

He said the Tamale Metropolis was taking the lead to create an enabling environment to ensure that sanitation was effectively managed. Alhaji Iddris appealed to the public not to throw refuse indiscriminately on the streets, which were one of the major contributors of the poor sanitation in the country. Mr Iliasu Adam, a member of CONIWAS, who chaired the function called for the sustainable financing of refuse collection to improve the situation.

He said safe disposal of waste remained a challenge for central and local governments and stressed the need for a transformed human behaviour to address the problem.


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