Iddi Yire, GNA
Awutu -Beraku (C/R), Sept 6, GNA - Mr Paul Nutsugah, the Central Regional Environmental Health Officer, has called on religious leaders to help fight against poor sanitation.
He noted that considering the consequences of poor sanitation, it was important for religious leaders to help curb the menace by instilling in their members good sanitation practices and hygiene ethics.
“The responsibility for sanitation is a shared responsibility, hence, when you see someone doing something that is detrimental to Environmental Health, you need to draw the attention of authorities,” he added.
Mr Nutsugah made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the side-lines of an Inter-District Learn and Share Event, hosted by Intervention Forum, a non-governmental organisation, under the Voice for Change Partnership (V4CP) programme, which is being implemented by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation.
The event created a platform for key district level actors of the Awutu Senya District Assembly (ASDA) and Awutu-Senya East Municipal Assembly (ASEMA) to learn and share valuable insights and experiences from each other.
Mr Nutsugah noted that the challenge had always been about people’s attitude towards the environment, whereas, another major problem was about enforcement of public health laws that were lacking in most of the Assemblies.
He said this was because people were not motivated to enforce the laws; to prosecute offenders, adding that “even when offenders are arrested several interventions arises, preventing cases from being sent to court”.
Mr Nutsugah who noted that the actions of some citizenry were really affecting good sanitation in Ghana, also lamented that most houses were built without toilets, and it was important to appreciate these facts and work towards actions that would lead to an improved environment.
“For us to achieve the goals on sanitation, opened defecation is something we need to work against, and ensure that houses are built with toilet facilities,” he added.
Madam Theresa Swanzy-Baffour, SNV, V4CP WASH Advisor, also underscored the need to engage traditional authorities, particularly queen mothers to help sensitize the public or help in the enforcement of sanitation laws.
“Our experiences in other districts, most times when it comes to enforcement there is always an issue of political influence but then when we let the traditional authority lead in that process, it gives a positive feedback,” she added.
Madam Swanzy-Baffour stated that another major thing they wanted the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to look at was how they could increase collaboration with the private sector.
She said the private sector had taken lead in terms of promoting sanitation and clean environment with value addition innovations.
She said with regards to the updates, there were a bit of innovations, as SNV realized that in ASEMA they had created a WhatsApp platform to improve coordination; describing it as a good step to push for sanitation improvement in ASEMA.
She said ASDA had also done immensely well when it came to hygiene, and was hopeful that ASEMA would learn from such commendable measures.