The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has initiated moves to review the sanitation laws of the various metropolitan,municipal and district assemblies to make them more stringent and deterrent.
Special emphasis will be laid on the law against open defecation to ensure that those guilty of the act are severely punished.
A deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development,Nii Lante Vanderpuye, stated this in Parliament in a contribution to a statement made on the floor of Parliament by the Member for Manhyia North, Mr Collins Owusu-Amankwah.
Mr Owusu-Amankwah had called for a review of the national sanitation day programme.
He said the programme, as it was now, placed more emphasis on cleaning the environment instead of educating the public against littering and enforcing sanitation laws.
He said the programme was also too partisan and added that national sanitation days looked more like National Democratic Congress ( NDC ) party rallies.
Moves on sanitation
Mr Vanderpuye said the government had also taken steps to support households which did not have toilets to construct them, adding that a $ 100 million facility had been secured for the project.
He added that the MDAs had also been given the go-ahead to recruit graduates from the schools of hygiene to enforce the bye laws on sanitation.
According to Mr Vanderpuye, the ministry had distributed 100,000 dust bins to parts of the country and had also begun the installation of dust bins made of metal at strategic locations on a pilot basis, starting from Accra.
The deputy minister said the insanitary conditions in the country were a matter of concern to the government, adding that the filth and sordid dirtiness discouraged investors from investing in the economy.
Owusu-Amankwah ' s recommendations
Mr Owusu-Amankwah said the poor sanitary conditions in recent times could be attributed, principally to the advent of sachet and polythene wrappers.
The other consideration, he said, was the lack of investment in the sector and the attitude of Ghanaians.
He said the sanitation law which allowed the state to prosecute offenders had not been effectively enforced in the past years as part of measures to improve sanitation in Ghana and to make the sanitation programme sustainable.
"First, there is the need to mount intensive education to deal with the attitude of the Ghanaian in contributing to polluting the environment.
In other words, the emphasis should be on preventive rather than curative. That will be much less expensive than allowing filthy situations to degenerate into cholera and attempting to fire fight it," he added.
Mr Owusu-Amankwah said the time had come to review the curricula of primary and junior high schools to include civic education that would embrace hygiene and sanitation in order to inculcate into the future generations the relevant behavioural reorientation.
The role of the health sanitary inspectors, he said, needed to be reassessed, adding that there should be proper monitoring and evaluation of their duties and responsibilities.
The Manhyia North MP called on the MMDAs not to provide only logistics for the programme but to, in collaboration with the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), engage in sustained education programmes on sanitation.
The member for Sunyani West, Mr Ignatius Baffuor Awuah,contributing, said importance should be attached to sanitation on a daily basis.
He also underscored the need for the programme to be depolitised so that everybody could be brought on board.