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General News of Saturday, 22 June 2019

Source: ghananewsagency.org

Stop political interference in enforcing sanitation by-laws - Environmental Officer

Baba Paul Mornah, Wa Municipal Environmental Health Officer (MEHO) Baba Paul Mornah, Wa Municipal Environmental Health Officer (MEHO)

Mr Baba Paul Mornah, the Wa Municipal Environmental Health Officer (MEHO), has called for a stop in political interference to ensure the enforcement of sanitation by-laws to instill discipline in waste management and control.

The move would help change attitudes of people towards liquid and solid waste management as Ghana works towards achieving a good sanitation target.

He was worried that politicians usually intervene in the prosecution of sanitation offenders, demanding that their cases be withdrawn, which affects effective enforcement of the by-laws.

Enforcing those by-laws would not only enhance good sanitation practices, but serve as a source of revenue generation for the assemblies to implement development projects, Mr Mornah told the GNA Tuesday.

“The by-laws are very good, if we enforce it, the assembly will benefit and we can also prosecute."If we send somebody to court for infringing on the by-laws, the fines would come to the assembly and boost our revenue collection.’’

He urged traditional authorities to pass community by-laws to ensure good sanitation practices among the people.

The Wa Municipal Assembly is in the process of gazetting its sanitation by-laws to compel the people to comply with the sanitation by-laws, which include Open Defecation.

Mornah said his outfit was committed to ensuring that the municipality attained an Open Defecation Free (ODF) status by the 2021 deadline set by the regional coordinating council (RCC).

The Upper West RCC together with other stakeholders has set 2021 as the target year for the region to attain region-wide ODF ahead of the 2030 global target under the Sustainable Development Goals.

The environmental department has initiated some steps to help achieve the targets, which include regular monitoring, participation in meetings and a community register for field officers.

The department is working in about 26 communities: six under the UNICEF’s Result Based Funding (RBF) programme, 10 under the Water Aid project and another 10 under a World Bank Additional Funding Quick Wins project, being implemented by the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA).

Mr Mornah was hopeful that 10 potential ODF communities would soon be verified by the Municipal Inter-agency Coordinating Committee on Sanitation (MICCS), to pave way for the Regional Inter-agency Coordinating Committee on Sanitation (RICCS) to verify.

The Wa Municipal was ranked the poorest performing Municipal in a recent Regional ODF League Table launched by the RCC, RICCS and partners.

Only five of the 86 communities in the Municipality were ODF, implying that the remaining 81 communities had no household toilets and could be practicing open defecation.

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