Sanitation Education

The Ga East Municipal Assembly is taking new steps to address the huge sanitation challenge of the Municipality by shifting from the traditional paradigm, to involve children in the campaign against filth.

To ensure this, it has directed all public basic schools under its jurisdiction to form Green View Environmental Clubs, as an initiative of Ms Janet Tulasi Mensah, the Municipal Chief Executive of the Ga East Municipal Assembly, to support President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s ambition of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa.

At the official launch and inaugural ceremony of the Green View Environmental Clubs in Accra on Thursday, Ms Mensah called on all stakeholders including traditional leaders, Pastors, Imams and teachers, to join hands in the efforts to rescue the country from its present predicament of being engulfed by filth.

It was envisioned that inculcating good sanitation practices in young pupils would be the genesis of a cleaner and healthier Municipality to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (GDG) 11, to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”.

Hence the theme for the inauguration was “Inculcating Best Sanitation Practices to Promote Good Health in our Communities through the School Sanitation Clubs”.

Ms Mensah said the formation of the Clubs was to address the teething challenge of solid waste management, which had become a bane to national development.

She said the main objectives for the formation of the Clubs were to inculcate waste segregation from the cradle, create awareness at school levels to form advocacy teams that would reach out to churches, mosques and local communities, improve quality waste management, and propose synergy actions for the sustainability of cleaner cities.

“We shall also use this Club to plant trees and own at least one tree”, a strategy which was in line with the SDG, she said.

She admitted that filth had become a societal menace spreading its tentacles throughout the country, and the Ga East Municipal Assembly, like the other municipalities in the Greater Accra Region was bedevilled with huge sanitation challenges.

The Municipal’s average waste generated was estimated at 0.48 kilogrammes per person per day, and the Assembly collected and received waste at an average of seven to eight thousand tons per day.

However the only refuse dumping site in the Municipality was at Pantang and it was closed down in 2017, upon advice from the Environmental Protection Agency, and so the solid waste contractors have had to travel long distances to the Kpone or Insumia dumping sites to dispose off refuse collected daily.

She said the sanitation challenge of the Municipality had therefore become a challenge and so there was the need to intensify public awareness and education on minimizing waste.

The Assembly, she said was currently making efforts to construct modern and environmentally friendly waste transfer stations, to help in refuse collection, “consequently, we have approached the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) and the University of Ghana, for land for this purpose”.

She also announced that immediate commencement of the waste segregation pilot programme in all public basic schools in the Ga East Municipality, where four waste bins with clear instructions such as “Organic, Plastic materials, Paper, Bottles and Metals”, would be distributed to the various schools for implementation.

She explained that arrangement have been made to supply the organic waste collected, to the GAEC Waste-To-Energy Project, and other like bottles, metals, plastic and paper, also sold to available commercial entities to generate revenue for the Assembly.

She further appealed to all households without toilets, to take advantage of the ongoing Greater Accra Metropolitan Area Sanitation and Water Project (GAMA-SWP) to build an environmentally-friendly facility at affordable rates and to prevent open defecation and urination.

Mr Ishmael Ashitey, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, in an address read on his behalf, called for strengthened collaboration between the various assemblies in the Region, in the midst of scarce resources, and to mobilise enough domestic funds for human capacity development, in order to achieve the desired results.

Ms Precious Boateng, who has been nominated by the Empathy Ghana Foundation, an NGO, as the Sanitation Ambassador, called for a general attitudinal change among Ghanaians towards their environment, and asked that all maintained healthy surroundings to ensure good health, save lives and promote national development.

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