Graphic/Zoomlion Sanitation Dialogue - Discussants call for enforcement of bye-laws

BY: Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah

Panellists at the fifth Graphic /Zoomlion Sanitation Dialogue at Goaso, the Ahafo regional capital, have called for punishment for people who flout sanitation bye-laws in the country.

They said for far too long, law enforcement authorities had failed to bite, thus emboldening sanitation offenders to perpetuate the acts with impunity and, therefore, needed to be called to order.

The speakers were the Chief Director of the Ahafo Regional Coordinating Council, Mr. Ebenezer Amoah, who represented the Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr. George Yaw Boakye; the Krontihene of the Goaso Traditional Area, Nana Yenhyira Kojo Kumah; the Ahafo Regional Director of Health, Dr. Boakye Boateng; the Asunafo North Municipal Chief Executive, Mr. Richard Osei-Boahen, and the Ahafo Regional Manager of Zoomlion, Mr. Edward Ziddah.

Participants at the GraphicZoomlion Sanitation Dialogue at Goaso in the Ahafo Region

The Graphic/Zoomlion Sanitation Dialogue series is being held in all 16 regional capitals in the country to whip the citizenry up to adhere to good sanitation practices, including changing their attitude towards environmental cleanliness.

It was sponsored by Zoomlion, with support from the Environmental Services Providers Association (ESPA) and McVities.

Significance

The regional minister reminded the people that adherence to good sanitation practices would prevent them from contracting diseases for increased productivity.

“Now is the time to act,” he said, adding that after years of education, those responsible for the enforcement of the country’s sanitation bye-laws must act.

Mr. Boakye said the mid-term evaluation report of the medium-term development framework (Agenda for Jobs, 2018-21) showed that the country had recorded an increase in access to sanitation from 15 per cent in the 2017 base year to 21 per cent in 2019.

“If you match the sanitation progress to that of water which achieved 66.97 per cent in 2019, it is clear that our progress in providing access to sanitation is lagging behind,” he said.

The minister further said his outfit was scaling up effort to ensure the provision and access to safe, clean drinking water and sanitation facilities by communities and households in the region.

Awareness campaign

In a speech read on his behalf, the Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr. Kobby Asmah, said as pacesetters in the media sector, the company would continue to lead in the sanitation awareness campaign for the accelerated development of the country.

“We at Graphic will continue to lead in the campaign to get the entire country clean. By so doing, we would be complementing the efforts of the various assemblies in ensuring environmental cleanliness,” he added.

Mr. Asmah, whose speech was read by a Deputy News Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr. Kwame Asare Boadu, also said it was time to deal decisively with non-conformists by punishing them appropriately.

He also called for an all-hands-on-deck approach in making the country clean.

Containment of cholera

The Ahafo Regional Director of Health, Dr. Boakye Boateng, said the use of hand sanitiser, coupled with regular handwashing had not only helped to curb the spread of COVID-19, but also reduced the incidence of cholera in the country.

He said the region recorded 52,000 cases of diarrhoea in 2019, which increased to 92,666 in 2020, eventually reducing to 28,000 cases within the first six months of 2021.

The Asunafo North Municipal Chief Executive, Mr. Richard Osei Boahene, advised residents against indiscriminate disposal of refuse.

The Krontihene of the Goaso Traditional Area, Nana Yenhyira Kwadwo Kumah, blamed some politicians, chiefs and pastors who sometimes use their influence to persuade law enforcers from punishing offenders of sanitation bye-laws.

He suggested that not only should sanitation be studied as a subject in school, but must also be made examinable.

Nana Kumah commended Graphic for partnering Zoomlion to prick the conscience of the people on the need to observe good sanitation practices.

For his part, Mr. Ziddah said Zoomlion had stepped up the distribution of waste bins and urged households and individuals to embrace the concept to ensure the proper disposal of waste.