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General News of Thursday, 22 August 2019


Government erred in creating sanitation ministry – Nii Lante Vanderpuye

MP for Odododiodio constituency, Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye MP for Odododiodio constituency, Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye

Member of Parliament (MP) for Odododiodio Constituency, Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye says it was a ‘mistake’ for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to create an entirely new ministry for sanitation.

According to him, government’s decision to move oversight responsibility on sanitation issues away from the Ministry of Local Government has led to little attention being paid towards sanitation management in the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs).

He said the MMDAs were not too active when it came to sanitation because of the lack of resources, adding he budget meant for the local assemblies to manage sanitation has been centralized at the Ministry of Sanitation.

The MP said this in an interview on TV3‘s New Day while having a discussion on the commemoration of World Mosquito Day, today August 20.

“In spite of all the mistakes [Nana Akufo-Addo] has done, the worse was taking away sanitation from the local government and establishing another ministry.

“Because he has done that, the assemblies who are primarily responsible for sanitation in the constituencies, because they don’t get the budget now, the assemblies don’t get the budget so their energies toward sanitation management in the assemblies is waning,” he explained.

Defending the erstwhile Mahama’s National Sanitation Day campaign, Nii Lante Vanderpuye contends that the policy had been neglected by the current government.

According to him, “it is a form of us helping ourselves to prevent things like malaria within our communities”.

“It was just an adaptation of what used to prevail into our modern day architecture of sanitation management.

“I thought the National Sanitation Day was going to be a pure national policy, because it was a policy that was derived with consultation with the National House of Chiefs, Regional House of chiefs and some sanitation stakeholders.

“So, I thought we were going to put politics aside and drive it. But because it was something initiated by Mahama’s government, it’s not good enough so it’s been thrown away.”

Member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) communication team, Eric Twum, who was also a panelist on the show, said the assertion by Mr. Vanderpuye that the creation of a sanitation ministry is a mistake is not true.

According to him, the situation needed a state agency whose main focus was sanitation in order to drive the dramatic change needed to curb problems within that sector.

He added that some localities in the country still practice the National Sanitation Day where they come out to do general cleaning in their locality.

“I don’t think that the president made any mistake at all. In my constituency, for instance, and in my district, people still do it. May be it is not akin to what the NDC tried to do, but there are people who do it, and it has become part of them,” he added.

World Mosquito Day is observed annually on 20 August to commemorate an 1897 discovery that female mosquitoes transmit malaria between humans.

The spread of malaria in Africa has been identified to have a correlation with bad sanitation, the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.

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