The Savannah Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) will initiate a comprehensive regional water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) development plan to serve as a blueprint to address sanitation challenges in the region.
The plan is expected to lay down practicable efforts towards effective sanitation management and ensure the strict enforcement of the relevant bye-laws.
Consequently, the RCC has instituted a regional sanitation campaign, which will be launched by the close of the year, for monthly clean-up exercises to enhance environmental safety and cleanliness.
The Regional Environmental Health Director, Mr Adam Wahabu, announced this on behalf of the Savannah Regional Minister, Mr Saeed Muhazu Jibril, at the Graphic/Zoomlion Sanitation Dialogue in Damongo, the capital of the Savannah Region, yesterday.
The dialogue, dubbed: "Keep Ghana Clean", brought together stakeholders in the sanitation sector to brainstorm and find ways of addressing sanitation issues.
Panellists included representatives of the regional health directorate, Zoomlion Ghana, local assemblies and the traditional council.
A section of the public and representatives of civil society organisations (CSOs) and religious bodies also participated through an open forum segment.
Mr Wahabu indicated that the Regional Coordinating Council was building a strong partnership with the private sector to harness resources to improve on the sanitation situation in the area.
"Negative behaviours foster the practice of open defecation, throwing wastes in the environment with the attendant complex outcomes of diseases and other looming public and environmental health threats.”
“These behaviours can only be addressed through stakeholder initiatives of this type where the media recognise the central role they must play to transform and cause positive actions and engagement among the citizens," he said.
While commending Graphic Communications Group Limited and Zoomlion for the initiative, he appealed to the waste management company to support metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to strengthen their environmental health and sanitation departments.
The Senior Communications Officer of Zoomlion, Mr Adams Mohammed Mahama, indicated that a sanitation competition would be organised next year to honour regions that would make strides in keeping a clean environment as part of the campaign.
He, therefore, encouraged the various stakeholders to take advantage of the awards and work hard to enable the Savannah Region to emerge victorious.
He added that Zoomlion was currently putting up a recycling and compost plant in the region to help manage and recycle both solid and liquid waste generated in the area.
"We encourage the Savannah Region to collaborate with us to initiate a 50-year sanitation plan that would serve as a springboard for effective waste management," Mr Mahama noted.
The Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Kobby Asmah, in a speech read on his behalf by the Chief Sub-Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Zakaria Alhassan, called for more collaborations to enable them to scale up the campaign to various districts.
“Indeed, rapid urban growth and increased population have brought along many development challenges, including sanitation.
There are issues of inadequate toilet facilities for both domestic and public use, lack of drainage systems and the indiscriminate dumping of refuse among other challenges in our various communities, which are fast eroding the gains we made over the years,” he said.
“However, we believe that all these challenges are surmountable.
We at Graphic Communications Group Limited are determined to sustain the sanitation awareness campaign and make the most out of it to help make Ghana the clean country we are all yearning for.
“The whole goal is to complement the national sanitation campaign efforts and play our part in cleaning the environment,” he added.