Mr. Samuel Atta Akyea, Minister of Works and Housing, has hinted of moves by his outfit to convince Cabinet to issue a $5.6 billion Eurobond to effectively tackle the sanitation menace in the country.
The funds when approved would be channeled into the excavation of massive drains, dredging, desilting and also scale up public campaigns on urgent need for attitudinal change.
Mr. Atta Akyea, who is also the Member of Parliament for Abuakwa South was addressing the sixth National Policy Summit currently underway in Cape Coast, with focus on fisheries and sanitation sectors.
The two-day event, which opened on Sunday, is held quarterly to provide platform to explain government policies, plans and activities to the citizenry as well as collect feedback for policy formulation and implementation.
It was put together by the Ministry of Information, on the theme: “Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Emphasis on Fisheries and Sanitation”.
Mr. Akyea noted that the current sanitation situation in the country required massive financial investment to control the perennial flooding and disease outbreak but inadequate funds for sanitation related activities was lacking.
It was in this regard that the Ministry presented an emergency budget of GH¢523,150.00 to the Finance Ministry for approval while the government had also approved GH¢200m budgetary allocation to the Ministry to step up efforts in making Accra the cleanest city in Africa.
Mr. Atta Akyea enumerated some sanitation challenges to include climate change factors that affect the rainfall pattern, high tide, urbanisation, indiscriminate waste disposal, poor waste management, building on waterways and inadequate funding.
According to him the surest way to effectively and efficiently make the country the cleanest in Africa was to decisively tackle sanitation and environment issues to help achieve the Ghana beyond aid agenda and economic transformation.He called for an end to construction of open drains, encourage recycling, sustained public education and strict enforcement of sanitation laws with deterring punitive measures as part of emergency plans to remedy the situation.
He tasked Assemblies to step up law enforcement strategies to compel landlords and citizenry to make provision for toilets in their homes while collaborating with stakeholders to ensure good sanitation in the communities.
They should ease the process of building permit acquisition and demolish illegal structures, especially those built on waterways, to help curb perennial flooding across the country.
Dr. Atta Mensah, a Lecturer at the University of Ghana, who was a co-panelist at the public discussion urged government to establish a National Sanitation Fund along with clearly developed modalities for its proper utilisation and management.
He also decried the absence of modern sanitation dumping sites to effectively recycle the huge tons of waste generated across the country.
Nana Dokua Asiamah-Adjei, Deputy Minister of Information in her closing remarks asked all stakeholders to support government to ensure environmental cleanliness as part of moves to achieve the SDGs and charged citizens to be sanitation conscious and desist from indiscriminate waste disposal.
The programme was attended by Nana Dokua Asiamah-Adjei, Deputy Minister of Information, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, traditional and religious leaders, Metropolitan and Municipal and District Chief Executives, academia, students and political party representatives and the media.