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UDS Harmattan School worried about poor sanitation
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Regional News of Thursday, 12 March 2015

Source: GNA

UDS Harmattan School worried about poor sanitation

Participants at the just-ended UDS Harmattan School, have expressed concern about the current insanitary situation in the country, and called for attitudinal change and institutional reforms to address the problem.

In a communiqué made available to the Ghana News Agency in Tamale, they urged individuals, households, communities, local government authorities, traditional rulers and civil society organisations, to recommit themselves to fighting poor sanitation practices and behaviours across the country.

The UDS Harmattan School is organized every year by the Institute of Continuing Education and Interdisciplinary Research (ICEIR), to discuss issues of national interest, and to suggest ways of solving them.

The six-point communique called for a clinical enforcement of sanitation laws, backed by genuine political commitment, institutional strengthening and sanctioning of people for insanitary practices, as the only means of addressing the problem of sanitation.

It recommended, among other things, that prosecutions and spot fines must be paid to the local authorities rather than to central government.

According to the communiqué, there must be mandatory provision of toilet and other sanitary facilities in every household, in accordance with approved building codes, which must also be applicable to all government institutions, schools, markets and lorry parks, fuel service stations, churches and mosques, restaurants and drinking spots.

It said central and local government authorities, must as a matter of urgency, increase investments in sanitation-related infrastructure, by constructing comprehensive and modern sewerage systems for cities and small towns, while individuals and companies that generate waste, should also be prepared to contribute financially to the provision of better sanitation services.

The communiqué said Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDCAs) must acquire permanent waste disposal sites for the purpose of incinerating, engineered land filling and composting, and that creative and innovative technologies must be adopted for managing solid and liquid wastes.

The National Sanitation Day (NSD) exercise must also be sustained and expanded, to cover every community in the country, rather than focusing only on regional and district capitals, while traditional rulers, religious and opinion leaders, as well as local government authorities, should be encouraged to actively promote this initiative, by mobilizing people to participate in activities of the NSD.

The communique said clean-up exercises should be accompanied by intensive mass media campaigns led by mandated state institutions and civil society to sensitize the general public about the resources, potentials and value of waste.

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