Saturday, May 28, 2022

Parliament approves over GH¢560M for Sanitation Ministry

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Parliament has approved the sum of Five Hundred and Sixty Million, Nine Hundred and Thirty-three Thousand, One Hundred and Ten Ghana Cedis (GH¢560,933,110.00) for The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources as budget estimates to enable the Ministry to implement its programmes for the 2021 financial year.

Addressing the media on some of the policies she intends to implement, the sector Minister, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, was optimistic the Sanitation and Pollution levy would enable the government to:

  • generate the needed resources to improve urban air quality and combat air pollution,
  • support the re-engineering of landfill sites at Kpone and Oti,
  • revamp/reconstruct poorly managed landfill facilities,
  • construct more sustainable state-of-the-art treatment plants for both solid and liquid waste in selected location across the country and to construct waste recycling and compost plants across the country,
  • provide more sanitation facilities to accelerate the elimination of open defecation and to as well establish treatment and disposal sites for solid and liquid waste in elected parts of the country.

According to the Minister, there will be continued support for the annual maintenance and management of major landfill sites and other waste treatment plants and facilities across the country; and “construct medical waste treatment facilities to prevent the generation of infectious diseases especially under the Coronavirus Treatment Programme”.

Speaking about Schools of Hygiene the Committee reported that the Ministry secured financial clearance for the recruitment of the School of Hygiene graduates numbering 1,174.

It said, “it was indicated that these graduates have not been recruited since 2010 and in December 2020, appointment letters have been issued for some while others are going through the process for the issuance of their letters.

Also, for the first time since their establishment, the three schools of hygiene have seen a major infrastructure development. In Accra and Ho, a new two-storey, nine-classroom block each, is being provided while Tamale is benefiting from the rehabilitation of an existing hostel facility”.

Madam Cecilia noted that, delivery of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene services within the country has enhanced due the creation of the Ministry. “Ghana is on track to attain the Sustainable Development Goal, number 6, on water which is to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of Water and ‘Sanitation for all by 2030”.

She said, “there is increment in people with access to at least basic water supply sources from 78% in 2017 to 81% in 2019 according to data from the Ghana Statistical Service, improvement in water quality index of river bodies in Ghana from 51.5% in 2017 to 56% in 2019 as a result of collaborative efforts with other state bodies and institutions and  lastly increment in people with access to improved sanitation (household toilet) from 14% in 2017 to 21% in 2019 according to data from the Ghana Statistical Service.

The proportion of bodies of water with good ambient water quality increased from 56% in 2018 to 57.8% in 2020”.

The MP for Adaklu, Kwame Agbodza however disagreed with the government on plastic waste management in Ghana. According to him the current government has no concrete policy on plastic waste management which constitutes majority waste in Ghana.

He questioned how much water Nana Addo’s government has added to the stock of water in Ghana for the last four years”. He said imposition of sanitation and pollution levy should be split between the sanitation ministry and the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) to deal with road issues, since the levy is charged on petroleum products.

Story filed by Edzorna Francis Mensah

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