Mr. Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister has reiterated that the sustainability of the national health insurance scheme would depend to a large extent on the control of diseases.
He said a healthy people implied the possibility of increasing productivity and poverty reduction, leading to sound socio-economic development. Mr. Baffour-Awuah was speaking on “Sanitation, everyone's business”, at the regional launch of the fifth national sanitation week celebration at Kintampo.
He explained that the implications of the high incidence of diseases resulting from poor sanitation seriously retarded the development of communities, causing high mortality and poverty rates. The Regional Minister stressed the need to maintain good and clean surroundings through regular clean-up exercises to desilt drains and fill potholes, the proper disposal of refuse and clearing of overgrown weeds.
Mr. Baffour-Awuah expressed regret that the attributes of the environment in relation to man had been downplayed for far too long, saying, “we are today faced with great challenges of disinterest in the environment, urban decay, and poorly planned urban development schemes, as our population grows and demand for products and wealth from the environment also grows”. He appealed to Assemblies to enforce sanitation bye-laws by prosecuting people who litter the environment and urged traditional authorities, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders to cooperate with the Assemblies to develop and implement scientific methods of waste management.
Mr. Razak Awudulai, Kintampo District Chief Executive, emphasised that sanitation was a key issue that had to be tackled to reduce morbidity, increase productivity and reduce poverty. He appealed to the Regional Coordinating Council to get the district on board the Urban VI project to salvage sanitation problems.
The DCE noted that Kintampo was a tourist destination and a transit point for both local and foreigners, noting that the VI project would greatly improve sanitary conditions. Mr. Awudulai said the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, had provided the district with a sanitation tractor, refuse containers and sanitation equipment. ”The district has also received 25 tricycles from Zoom Lion Company, through the Ministry for the clearing of garbage at Kintampo”, he added.
Mr. Isaac Osei, Regional Officer of the Environmental Protection Agency announced that solid waste produced in urban centres was one million tonnes per year. On liquid waste, he said each person produced about 0.25 kilogram of faeces and 1.2 litres of urine everyday, all adding up to about 1,750 tonnes of faeces and 8,500 cubic metres of urine daily in the urban centres.
Mr. Osei noted that the huge volume of waste generated had assumed serious dimensions for metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies.
He explained that waste could be transformed into useful products such as gas for energy and manure for agricultural activities and appealed to assemblies to take bold steps in converting waste into such useful products.