Some 36 liquid waste treatment plants dotted across the country have broken down and are rotting away, Steve Anoff Amoaning-Yankson, immediate Past President of the Ghana Institution of Engineers has disclosed.
Due to this, he said sewage waste from homes especially in Tema were being directed into the sea, a practice which according to him, left much to be desired and deserves immediate government intervention.
The engineer disclosed these when he delivered a lecture on the theme, ‘Sustainable management of Ghana’s sanitation’, at the eighth National Development Forum held in Accra on Thursday, December 19, 2019.
The monthly forum, organised by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), is aimed at engaging the public on national issues and generate feedback for the policy process.
According to Amoaning-Yankson, the laboratory for the treatment plant at Tema, for instance, had been over taken by squatters, despite the money spent on its construction.
He said there were various business opportunities in the liquid waste management supply chain including provision of household toilets, septic tanks, sewage emptying and urged Ghanaians to turn waste into wealth.
For Mr. Amoaning-Yankson, urbanisation and associated expansion of cities called for more sophisticated methods of waste management, saying, “Waste management issue is no longer an out of sight, out of mind.”
On solid waste management, he said the challenges included unidentified regulatory regime, institutional and financial weakness, absence of research materials, poor collaboration amongst stakeholders and inefficient collection vehicles.
He advocated the establishment of a national sanitation agency to handle the engineering component of sanitation and management of liquid waste, solid waste and drainage.
Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, said the provision of about 20,000 household toilets over the last three years, had helped curb open defecation in 3,000 communities.
She said next year (2020), the ministry would engineer landfill sites, “decommissioned, greened and turned into parks. It is possible” adding that more public bins would be provided to reduce littering.
Recognising the socio-economic impacts of poor sanitation on the country, she called on all Ghanaians to develop a positive attitude towards sanitation so “we win the fight together”.