The Water and Sanitation Technical Coordinator, World Vision International Ghana has said paying lip-service and dabbling in propaganda on issues of sanitation, especially, open defecation would only consume the energetic fabric of society through disease outbreaks.
Yaw Attah Arhin said: “when the fundamentals of our sanitation services delivery remains weak, diarrhoea, cholera, flooding and other preventable deaths will continue to expose everyone.”
The WASH Technical Coordinator therefore called on government and non-state actors to double efforts and resources towards fighting the sanitation menace, which was consuming the country.
Mr Arhin said this at the third Volta Ghana Journalists Association Awards 2019, at the plush Volta Serene Hotel in Ho.
It was on theme, “Environmental Cleanliness: Media as Vanguard, Don’t Drop that Litter,” with Mr Benjamin Aklamah, Citi FM Volta Regional Reporter being adjudged Journalist of the Year 2019 with 10 others winning awards in various categories.
Mr Arhin said the Water and Sanitation (WASH) sector had been one of the most under-funded sectors in Ghana with the 2019 budget for example, allocating only GH¢ 246 million to the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR) and its agencies.
He said the best practice showed that for sustainable environmental sanitation delivery, up to five percent gross domestic products (GDP) ought to be spent on sanitation, noting that “unfortunately, Ghana is currently investing only 0.26 per cent of GDP on environmental sanitation delivery”.
Mr Arhin said the sector was fraught with inappropriate collection and disposal of waste, weak enforcement of sanitation bye-laws, improper citizens’ attitude and behavior, among others.
He commended GJA for prioritizing environmental sanitation and called for vigorous implementation of by-laws and waste recycling to promote greater behavioural discipline on citizens.
Mr Roland Affail Monney, National President of GJA, said the Association was using its 70th Anniversary to lead the sanitation crusade.
He said at 70, the Association was deploying solution oriented journalism, using the media to address pertinent societal issues associated to health, sanitation and agriculture, using its multiple channels to effect attitudinal changes.
The national President expressed GJA’s gratitude to the Adzorkli clan of Adaklu Tsrefe led by Togbe Edem III for donating and handing-over documents for a four-acre land towards the GJA Volta estate project.
He also commended Togbe Agbobada IV Dufia of Adaklu Anfoe for helping the Association secure the land.
Mr Anthony-Bells Kafui Kanyi, Chair, GJA Volta urged practitioners to join the campaign against insanitary conditions and help keep Ghana clean.
Nana Soglo Alloh IV, President, Volta Regional House of Chiefs pledged the support of the House towards the sanitation campaign.
A fundraising towards the GJA Volta Sanitation Campaign yielded over GH¢ 11,000.00.