The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Joseph Kofi Adda, has announced that the Ministry of Finance has released funds for immediate evacuation of waste in the major cities and towns of the country as part of the government’s vision to make Accra and other cities the cleanest in Africa.
He noted that a staggering debt of GH¢892 million inherited from the previous Mahama administration was impending the management of waste in the country, adding that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has negotiated the settlements of the debt and commenced payment to free the sector for smooth implementation of its waste management policy.
He indicated that the debt arose from compensation for employees of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) and Sanitation Guards, provision of landfill management services, fumigation services, and debts owed to contractors with the Local Government and Rural Development, as well as the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies.
He said the NPP government has also made available GH¢50 million for the construction of 15 mini transfer stations in addition to the urgent evacuation of waste in the cities and towns since the absence of mini transfer stations was also contributing heavily to the current filth in the cities, especially Accra.
The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources made these known yesterday at the maiden Meet-The-Press session of the Ministry which has been established by the NPP government.
According to Mr Adda, the Ministry has undertaken stakeholder consultations, which have resulted in outcomes that would be assisting the sector operators work more effectively and efficiently.
“Besides applying the sector-wide approach to develop a comprehensive and integrated strategic plan with an Action Plan, the Ministry has also completed a draft policy paper for approval by cabinet to establish a National Sanitation Authority with a supporting Sanitation Fund to serve as a dedicated agency to regulate and lead the implementation of the sanitation policies of government, as well as provide reliable and regular funding to support effective service delivery,” the Minister said.
According to the Minister, the new policy has also made provision for the establishment of a dedicated enforcement team under the National Sanitation Authority to be known as the National Sanitation Brigade that would see to the compliance of the laid down laws and regulations.
The Minister also said that from the stakeholder consultations, a total Sanitation Campaign Strategy has been drawn and would soon be launched by President Nana Akufo-Addo.
He said the campaign will get everyone involved in the national drive to make Ghana a very clean country.
Considering that waste is now regarded as a resource, the Minister said the processing of waste into by-products is very high on the agenda of the government and that the Ministry was collaborating with some investors to convert the country’s waste into various value added products such as energy, compost fertilizer and recycled plastics and paper.
He said this will help reduce significantly the final waste to a minimum level, which would have required huge landfill sites to dispose of such waste.
On provision of good drinking water for all Ghanaians, Mr Adda said the Ministry is on course to delivering rural water as well as completing water treatment plants.
He said so far three water treatment plants had been completed at Cape Coast and Essakyir, both in the Central region and Wa in the Upper West region and would soon be commissioned.
He indicated that funds had also been secured to undertake new projects to expand access of water so as to deliver the ‘water for all’ policy of the government.
“With the extensive stakeholder consultations and the strategic planning having been completed, as well as initiatives that have been crafted and have received funding, the new Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation is poised to take off to deliver on the vision of the President as well as the pledges made in the New Patriotic Party manifesto,” the Minister pointed out.
Source: Daily Guide
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