Ghana’s chronic sanitation challenge seems insurmountable and cannot go away by 2020 as government projects, experts have stated.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has made it his avowed aim to make Accra, Ghana’s capital the cleanest city in Africa by 2020.

However, speaking to Xinhua here on Thursday, Yaw Atta Arhin Vice Chairman of the Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) said although it as a good dream, 2020 was too short a time to achieve that goal.

“I won’t say Accra can become the cleanest city in Africa by 2020. Maybe subsequent years, but 2020, it is going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, because many other countries are ahead, and are putting in more efforts. Good measures and mechanism to ensure that their cities continue to remain clean,” Arhin emphasized.

He added: “You can take Kigali for example. Kigali is the cleanest city in Africa. Kigali has taken certain measures which are difficult but yielding results. And so for Accra to become the cleanest city in Africa, we have to increase resources. When it comes to solid waste, in Ghana we generate about 22,000 tonnes of solid waste in a day and only two percent is recycled so you can imagine where the rest find themselves so the situation is not too good.”

Arhin who is also the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH )Technical Coordinator for global charity World Vision International in Ghana said there was the need for a paradigm shift to enable Ghana ride the capital of filth.

“We have to change our behavior in terms of the way we treat solid waste; then liquid waste. If we put in all the efforts; if we put in all the resources, at least we can become the cleanest city in West Africa then we can redouble our efforts and ensure that we become the cleanest in Africa subsequently. But 2020, I have my doubts based on our assessments. You can go to places and see huge piles of waste and people are sitting by it and selling. And people are buying. This cannot happen in any civilized society.” He added.

Ghana has completed its strategy for water and Sanitation delivery which is Goal six of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) , and Ben Ampomah, Executive Secretary of the Water Resources Commission, says a lot more resources and rethinking is needed to achieve the national targets.

“I must say though that it is going to demand a lot of resources and a lot of rethinking because there are some targets which hitherto we did not actually place our hands on.. for example recycling, we did not actually take a very critical look at them,. But now as part of the SDGs we are supposed to report on them and to make conscious efforts at improving them.,” Ampomah stated.

CONIWAS used the interaction to sensitize h media practitioners specialized in water and sanitation to keep their eyes on the country’s drive towards the SDGs as Ghana’s president, Akufo-Addo, with the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg co-chairs the UN Secretary General’s SDG Advocates Group of Eminent Personalities. Enditem


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