An integrated master plan is being developed to manage waste and improve sanitation in Accra.
Known as the Integrated Urban Environmental Sanitation Master Plan (IUESMP), the project seeks to harmonise all existing strategies in the sanitation, drainage and waste management sub-sectors to holistically deal with the sanitation and waste management challenges confronting the national capital.
The $3-million initiative is being funded by the World Bank as part of a Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) project.
The memorandum of understanding for the project was signed between the government and the World Bank in October 2017, with the project expected to be completed in 18 months.
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A national technical committee comprising key stakeholder institutions has been constituted to work on the plan.
The committee is made up of institutions such as the ministries of Works and Housing and Sanitation and Water Resources, as well as the Department of Urban Roads and the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).
As part of the processes, a consultative forum was held in Accra on Wednesday for key stakeholders within the 11 metropolises under the GAMA operational area.
They included traditional rulers and technocrats within the Greater Accra Region.
Throwing more light on the IUESMP, the Project Coordinator, Mr George Asiedu, said the master plan involved the management of both solid and liquid waste in the city.
"By this master plan, solid and liquid waste, including drainage, are to be handled in an integrated manner, instead of tackling one component at a time," he explained.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Ishmael Ashitey, described the initiative as timely, since it was critical to addressing the sanitation and waste management challenges in Accra.
"This government has an agenda to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa, but this feat cannot be achieved if there is no coordination of approaches and efforts to deal holistically with issues on waste and sanitation," he stressed.
The initiative has come at a time the country is battling with insanitary conditions and poor drainage systems.
For instance, Accra was ranked as the most polluted city on earth, according to numbeo.com, a website that tracks many countries with respect to developmental challenges such as pollution, health and crime.
According to the pollution survey report released in 2016, Accra led with a pollution index of 102.13, while Beirut, Lebanon, followed closely with 97.71.
Ghana has also slipped on its sanitation performance globally to become the world’s seventh worst performing country, according to a 2015 report.
The Joint Monitoring Programme report, dubbed: “Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water: 2015 Update and Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Assessment”, was a collaboration between the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The 2014 report of the same entities ranked Ghana as the 10th worst performer on sanitation coverage.
Current figures at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) show that the capital city generates more than 3,000 metric tonnes of waste daily.