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General News of Sunday, 16 December 2018

Source: ghananewsagency.org

Corruption is a deviation from acceptable ways - Blagodzi

Mr. Maxwell Blagodzi, Deputy Volta Regional Minister said corruption was not only the use of public fund for personal gains but also a total deviation from acceptable ways and principles of religious beliefs and the national law.

The Deputy Regional Minister said this at the launch of “a clean environment in a corruption - free society" project by the Good Governance, Justice and Peace Commission of the Ho Catholic Dioceses.

He said corruption and poor sanitation caused great financial and human resources loss needed for the rapid socioeconomic development of the country.
Mr. Blagodzi said when societies reverted to communal living with a dedication to communal labour to keep the environment clean; it would prevent the spread of diseases and make the nation prosperous because “a healthy nation is a prosperous nation".

He said the fight against corruption should not be left in the hands of only those in leadership positions, saying “followers must understand that they wield a great power in the fight against corruption".

The Most Rev. Emmanuel Kofi Fianu, SVD, Bishop of Ho said no amount of punitive measures would resolve the problems of poor sanitation, environmental degradation and endemic corruption unless the citizens decided to change their attitude.

"It is difficult for some of us to understand why we should not throw empty water sachet out of the window of a moving vehicle, drop it on the street or in public places. The most essential thing we all need to do for the success of this programme is a change of attitude" he stated.

Rev. Fianu said the objective of the project was to encourage individuals and communities to keep at least fifty meters radius around their homes, churches and institutions clean and also to stop open defecation by educating others about its negative effects on the environment.

He said it was also to stop the indiscriminate destruction of the vegetation and to encourage all to “make the commitment to be agents of anti- corruption by promoting transparency and accountability".

Madam Stella Kumedzro, an Environmental Health Analyst said five million Ghanaians defecated in the open and every year the nation loses over 290 million dollars to poor sanitation.

She said the country was among the ten countries that had poor sanitation in the world and was ranked the 7th dirtiest country in the world.
Madam Kumedzro said only 414 communities out of over 3000 communities in the Volta region were open defecation free, representing only 15 per cent.
She said it was therefore imperative for all to be concerned about the issues of poor sanitation and take appropriate steps to address it to prevent diseases.

Mr. Derick Logo, Senior Programme Officer, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said corruption could easily end when strategies such as, effective enforcement of the laws, transparency mechanisms, accountability systems, civil participation and freedom of the press were effectively put in place.

He said for a good and sustainable environment for future generations, it was imperative to have equilibrium between economic gains and environmental management.

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