Mr Aristo Aryee, Ga Central Municipal Chief, has called on Ghanaians to improve their environment and change their negative perception towards sanitation.
“Diseases are no respecter of any persons, so we should stop the indiscriminate littering and open defecation to avoid contracting them,” he said.
Mr Aryee made the call at a forum organised by the Hope For Future Generations (HFFG), a non- governmental organisation and a partner on the Ghana-Netherlands WASH Programme (GNWP).
The forum held at Sowutuom, a suburb of Accra was for participants to dialogue on sanitation challenges and provide solutions to such concerns.
On the theme: “Community Accountability,” the goal of the forum was for community members to air their concerns for their assemblymen note as they seek to reduce open defecation and sanitation in the area.
It was attended by people from Sowutuom, Awoshie and Antieku in the Ga Central Municipality.
Mr Aryee said: “We can have the beautiful buildings around but if we fail to change our attitude we will not achieve anything.”
During an open discussion, the service users said their major challenges includes: the irregular flow of water, lack of refuse dumping sites, poor drainage systems, absence of latrines and improper disposal of waste.
They urged the chiefs of the area to partner with government and the municipal assembly to provide the basic sanitation needs.
The service providers also complained of the unavailability of lands, inadequate funding, refusal to pay assembly taxes by community members and lack of logistics.
Madam Cecilia Senu, Executive Director of HFFG, asked the people to learn from citizens of donor countries whose taxes are being spent to create sanitation awareness among Ghanaians.
She appealed to them to cultivate the habit of paying taxes adding: “We are the Government; sanitation is a shared responsibility and, therefore, we should be responsible in paying taxes.”
Mr Michiel Verweij, Senior WASH Officer of Simavi partners on the GNWP said he is happy to be part of the forum to help educate the people on their role in sanitation, adding sanitation is medicine for development.
He said WASH and HFFG would continue to share ideas on how to improve on the lives of the people for them to appreciate the habit of good sanitation and clean water.
Superintendent Sussie Adjei, Sowutuom Municipal Police Commander, said security and sanitation go hand-in-hand and advised assemblymen to continue their efforts of mobilising the people to undertake regular clean-ups.
The HFFG with its focus on education and health has undertaken a study on open defecation in five Metropolitan/Municipal areas in the country namely; Ga South, Ga West, Ga Central, Cape Coast and Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem.
This is to help implement strategies and activities aimed at reducing the practice of open defecation by up to 70 per cent in the areas.
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