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General News of Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Source: GNA

Good environmental practices, key to fighting coronavirus - NCCE

File photo: NCCE logo File photo: NCCE logo

Efforts to defeat the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) largely depend on how citizens and other stakeholders pay special attention to good environmental practices, the National Commission For Civic Education (NCCE) has said.

The Commission has thus called on institutions and all agencies mandated to deal with environmental governance to intensify efforts in maintaining good environmental and sanitation practices.

Mr Nicholas Ofori Boateng, Central Regional Director of the NCCE who made the call stressed the need for empowered citizens to demand greater public accountability on the management of the environment during the COVID-19 period.

He said sanitary inspectors for instance, must intensify work in the communities and households to ensure that citizens were observing all the required personal and environmental hygiene to help eradicate the pandemic.

Currently, the NCCE under phase three of its Accountability, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme (ARAP) was focusing on engaging Ghanaians on good environmental practices necessary to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, he indicated.

The programme, being funded by the European Union (EU) is geared towards promoting good environmental practices and empowering citizens to demand accountability from duty bearers on the management of the environment towards fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said throughout July, the NCCE in the region had eight engagements with identifiable groups and held numerous media interviews and interactions through community information centres.

Mr Ofori Boateng insisted that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as nose masks, hand gloves, medical overalls, tissue papers must be appropriately handled and disposed off to avoid contamination and the spread of the virus.

“These waste also constitute another form of spreading the infections and must be properly handled within the environment to make positive headway in our COVID-19 fight”, he said.

Additionally, he said Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) must ensure safe transportation and conveyance of public waste, properly manage dumping sites and regularly fumigate the sites to prevent possible spread of the virus, the NCCE director cautioned.

Parents and guardians must prevent children from scavenging, playing or visiting these places to avoid the danger of contracting the virus.

Mr Ofori Boateng lauded the government for embarking on the second phase of the nationwide fumigation exercise saying it was also a good environmental practice critical to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

He however implored on the citizenry to monitor the exercise to ensure that the right things were done.