PRESS RELEASE ON WORLD TOILET DAY – 2020
Ghana, as a nation, has been saddled with the canker of poor sanitation for a long time. As a developing nation, poor sanitation has been one of the banes to its growth, thereby affecting the well – being of its people.
Over the years, governments and other stakeholders have made efforts to help deal with the problem of poor sanitation, but the problem has always been, especially for duty bearers, a lack of political will and less commitment to policy enactment and implementation.
WUZDA Ghana recognizes the importance of this day, the World Toilet Day, celebrated on 19th November every year, which highlights the efforts of governments and sanitation sector players, as it reminds all stakeholders of renewed and tightened commitments to the fight against poor sanitation and the benefits the results will bring to the peoples of various societies.
For WUZDA Ghana’s commemoration of the World Toilet Day this year, we would like to focus on the National Solid Waste Management Strategy for Ghana, which was launched at the just ended 31st Mole Conference in Accra, November, organized by the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in the Water and Sanitation sector (CONIWAS), of which WUZDA Ghana is a member.
We believe the enactment of policies and strategies are not enough, till we make extra efforts to implement them and make them work to the benefit of the people for whom the policies were made.
WUZDA Ghana as a core WASH NGO has since 2011 provided over 3500 household and institutional latrines through our Latrine Sanitation Credit Scheme.
These latrines are mainly scattered across the Tamale Metropolis and the adjoining Metropolitan and District areas in the northern region.
We have also constructed some five institution and communal water systems for schools and communities, to help in cultivating the habit of water conservation in the citizenry, and to support in the management of solid waste.
Nonetheless, with all these efforts, management of the excreta generated from the latrines we have provided for people and others, has always been a challenge for households and institutions.
The overarching aim of Ghana’s Solid Waste Management Strategy is to “set the nation on a path towards progressive, high quality, and cost – effective Solid Waste Management service delivery, which will deliver environmental, public health, and economic benefits for all.”
This is a reminder to all, that waste could be turned into ‘money’, if managed well, as getting rid of it properly also prevents the people from contracting hygiene related and other diseases, making the state save money it would have used to purchase drugs for the OPD to take care of its sick people.
The Solid Waste Management Strategy for Ghana has seven major pillars on which a proper waste management regime is expected to be built.
These pillars are (1) Strengthening sector governance
(2) Increasing private sector participation
(3) Optimizing service delivery and infrastructure
(4) Creating positive social action
(5) Enabling effective waste reduction, recovery and recycling
(6) Ensuring effective Monitoring and Evaluation
(7) Establishing sustainable financing mechanisms for Solid Waste Management
These seven pillars, on paper, indeed look like they can “set the nation on a path towards progressive, high quality, and cost – effective Solid Waste Management service delivery, which will deliver environmental, public health, and economic benefits for all.”
For WUZDA Ghana, we are worried about the spirit with which we implement and enforce our policies and strategies, which in many cases appear very convincing to solving our problems as a nation.
From our end, through our “Farm-Promoting Urban Organic Waste for Food and Livelihood Security” Project, we are empowering 130 vegetable farmers to use faecal matter to produce compost, which they apply on their vegetables for better yield with assurances of better soil composition.
The aim, objectives and roadmap (Pillars) to implementation of the Solid Waste Management Strategy are brilliant and relevant to the problem.
The agencies drawn through the implementation process, especially through MMDAs, is also encouraging, however, we would like to call on the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources to break the tasks of each of the implementing agencies down to specifics, and indicate timelines on which each of them will be achieved.
This will enable sector players monitor on behalf of the citizenry, as well as ask the necessary questions and properly and effectively engage the ministry on the issues of implementation of the Slid Waste Management Strategy.
Finally, we would like to call on the public to make efforts to amend their attitudes with regard to disposing of solid waste, as a properly managed solid ‘material in transition’ (MIT) is wealth and not waste.
Happy World Toilet Day to all!!!
Media and Communications Officer