A sanitation awareness stakeholders dialogue led by the Graphic Communications Group Limited in collaboration with Zoomlion Ghana Limited has been held in the Savannah regional capital of Damongo with the theme “Keep Ghana Clean”.
In welcome address, the Savannah Regional Minister, Mr. Saeed Muhazu Jibril said platforms such as this is highly critical to attracting varied but experienced stakeholders with the encouragement to thoroughly present workable opinions and strategies that will demonstrate sustainability in their character especially, such suggested action points that trigger the locally practical approaches towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goal 6 (which is to ensure access to water and sanitation for all by 2030). His speech was read by the Regional Environmental Health Officer, Mr. Adam Wahab.
Currently, the Savannah region has a basic sanitation coverage of 19.5%, a situation he attributed to negative attitudes.
“Infact, negative behaviors foster the practice of open defecation, throwing wastes in the environment with the attendant complex outcomes of diseases and other looming and environmental health threats”.
Reversal of this unrewarding behaviors can only be possible through stakeholder initiatives of this type where the media recognizes the central role they must play to transform and cause positive actions.
He added that it’s true that both liquid and solid wastes volumes are directly associated with population growth and urbanization. I therefore cannot end without mentioning the win-win public private partnership already existing between the Government and Zoomlion in the area of waste management. It must therefore be noted that the installation of sanitation infrastructure is indispensable in the management of waste, and the recognition of this fact led to the plan to build the integrated recycling and compost plants by Zoom Lion in all 16 regions.The Savannah region is a beneficiary and the plant is about 50% complete.
He explained that the Coordinating Council is working closely with partners to improve the situation
“The Savannah Regional Coordinating Council (SRCC) is leaving no stone unturned in order to building strong partnership to harness resources to improve the WASH situation in the region. We are currently working with the UNICEF, WASH for Health, World Vision and other WASH groups in order to provide the basic WASH interventions in the communities”.
“I have instructed my Regional Environmental Heath Director to liaise with relevant institutions for us to organize a broad forum for all our stakeholders (National and International) with the object of developing a comprehensive Regional WASH development plan which will serve as blue print for all related WASH interventions in this Region”.
Mr. Saeed Muhazu disclosed that a regional sanitation camping will soon be launched by the SRCC.
The SRCC have planned to institute a Regional Sanitation Campaign to be launched by the end of this year. All the 7MDAs shall by extension continuously organize monthly clean-up exercise to enhance environmental safety”.
He made the some recommendations that will help the country keep clean environment, among which include;
This stakeholder dialogue should be an annual event where reviews can be made on what is working and what is not working and design interventions for remedy.
There should be promotion of sanitation entrepreneurship programs by both Government and Private sector that will enhance job Creation for the youth in this region, particularly in areas such as household Latrine construction, household waste collection among others.
All MDAs should facilitate the enforcement of sanitation by-laws.
A request to Zoom Lion to consider developing waste water Treatment Plants in all the 7 districts.
Design sanitation topics and campaigns for our children in order to introduce good behavior stories and practicals to them. And Promoting approaches such as community-Led-Total-Sanitation will help reawakening of WASH consciousness in communities.
The Senior Communications Officer at Zoomlion, Adams Mohammed Mahama, said as the leading waste management company in Ghana and Africa, Zoomlion’s collaboration with Graphic Communication Group would carry more awareness creation to enlighten the people to ensure clean environments to avoid unwanted sicknesses, because filthy environments made more people to be ill than cleaner surroundings. He urged the general public to develop positive attitudes towards the environment.
He said all the 16 regions must keep the cities clean in order to compete for the cleanest city where an award would be given to that region.
Mr. Alhassan Zakaria, chief sub editor of Graphic Communications said the collaboration with Zoomlion was to bring more impact on sanitation and keep Ghana clean. He added that sanitation is a shared responsibility and the public must get involved in caring for the environment.
The chairman of the occasion, a sub Chief of Debre Traditional Area, Mputosowura Siibu Yakuba (Chief One Man) appealed for the return of the sanitary inspectors, the municipal assemblies and the general public to work towards keeping a sound environment to end sanitation menace in the country.
He suggested that people who broke sanitation laws must be punished to deter others from keeping their surroundings dirty.
The dialogue was attended by heads of departments, security agencies, traditional and religious leaders, youth groups among others.