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General News of Friday, 18 November 2011

Source: myjoyonline

Don’t be ashamed to beg for help – Kufuor tells gov't

Former President J.A. Kufuor has admonished the government to shed off its pride, if any, and call on the international community for help to solve the country’s ‘overwhelming’ sanitation challenges.

He told Joy News Friday, Ghana’s quest to see a healthy and developed society would be a mockery, if proper and pragmatic measures are not put in place to tackle the environmental problems head on.

Former President Kufuor was talking to Joy News’ Sammy Darko about his new international appointment as chairman of the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership. The global institution is an alliance of governments, donors, civil society organizations and agencies working to improve water and sanitation across the world.

Mr. Kufuor said the job he got only this week, provides a good opportunity for him to facilitate donor support in the areas of water and sanitation in Ghana particularly.

He said whilst he’s doing that, government must also make the necessary budgetary allocations to improve the water and sanitary conditions in the country.

“Government [should] try to make the necessary budgetary allocations as well as appeals; if say resources locally are limited, there shouldn’t be any shame in making the appeals to the multinationals, the United Nations itself, or its organs like WHO for support in the supply of portable water as well as sanitary services.”

Former President Kufuor said he has often been struck by the piles of rubbish at market places and in the communities, compounded by choked gutters, saying “I see it as a challenge that must be given topmost priority”.

In an effort to solve sanitation problems in the country, he recounted that under his leadership, the government donated an amount to the University of Ghana for studies on environment and sanitation. “The whole idea was for the nation to be availed with a scientific approach in trying to manage the sanitary challenge and also to try to improve upon our environmental situation, the overwhelming challenge of sanitation problem.”

Issues of the environment are crucial, he said, and urged the government to make money available to recruit qualified persons and institutions, warning: “Without a healthy community, talking of economic development reality, it becomes a mockery.”