The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Hon Cecelia Abena Dapaah has ended a two-day working tour of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region with an assurance that the government is committed to eradicating open defecation in the country to promote good hygiene.
The two days working tour which started from Thursday 22nd to Friday 23rd June 2023 was aimed at inspecting household toilet projects undertaken by the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area (GKMA) under the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources funded by the World Bank.
The sector Minister's visit also aimed at acquainting herself on the progress of work as well as challenges.
Accompanied by Deputy Minister Hon Ishaaku, Chief Director Mr Noah Tumfo, Director of Sanitation Mr Sampson Akwettey, Project Coordinator Ing George Asiedu all from the Ministry, Hon Abena Cecilia Dapaah visited Ejisu Besese, Kentenkronu, Asafo, North Suntreso and the Oti Landfill site near Atonsu, where she had the opportunity to interact with the individual household and institutional toilet beneficiaries.
On her two days field visit the Minister expressed her gratitude to the beneficiaries for the positive response and assure them of government efforts to deliver more bio-digester toilet facilities to end open defecation.
"Commendations on the government from the beneficiaries show clearly that Nana Akufo Addo's government is on cause when it comes to the areas that boarder on development projects," the Minister told this reporter.
She said under the GAMA/GKMA-SWP, the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources has targeted 30,000 ultra-modern toilet facilities for households in the low-income communities in the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area (GKMA) by 2024.
"For this reason, coverage has been extended to other MMDAs in the Ashanti Region to help other people have access to clean, comfortable and affordable toilet facilities," the Minister underscored.
She added, "Currently, 10,000 household toilet facilities have been built in the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area (GKMA) with the Ejisu Municipal Assembly the leading beneficiaries."
According to the Minister, government is well-focused to ensure that the citizens have access to decent toilet facilities and potable water by the year 2030.
She on this note commended GAMA/GKMA team, other sub-implementers, MMDAs, and the media who have been playing critical roles.
The Minister reiterated that the government through the Sanitation Ministry has absorbed 80% of the cost of the toilet facilities to make it cheaper, affordable and accessible to all, and as a result urged landlords and households who have no toilet facilities to visit their various District Assemblies and get registered for the toilet facility.
At the Kumasi Asafo Simplified Sewerage System Point, where Hon Cecelia Abena Dapaah was joined by other MCEs, DCEs and stakeholders in sanitation and water bodies, she said the simplified sewerage system project would be redeveloped and expanded to the international standard.
As one of the government's flagship projects, an aquaculture facility would be included in the expansion exercise to ensure financial generation for government, though commercialization of the redevelopment and expansion plans are not the target of the government.
The project, she said, will also support the development of an environmental sanitation and drainage master plan for people of Kumasi.
At the Oti Landfill site near Kumasi Ahensan where the tour finally ended, a mini durbar was organized by the chief of the town and his elders in honor of Hon Cecelia Abena Dapaah. He described her as a hard-working Minister under Nana Akufo-Addo's administration.
Thanking the chief and his elders for the honor done her, she praised the Mayor of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Hon Sam Pyne and his team for the good work done at the landfill site.
This she said is because the work at the Oti Landfill Site is about 70 percent completed.
Earlier in his brief address, the Project Coordinator for GAMA/GKMA-SWP, Ing George Asiedu commended the Minister for the tour and inspection of the projects being implemented by the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources.
Ing George Asiedu said Hon Cecelia Abena Dapaah's visit was not aimed at criticizing anybody but as a responsible Minister found it appropriate to touch down and share opinions with the contractors working on the project, beneficiaries and all other stakeholders.
The Engineer was happy that the Minister hardly found problems with the projects except for minor encroachments from residents which she gave orders for action to be taken.
Ing. George Asiedu assured the Minister of his team's resolve to work hard to ensure that government and for that matter the Ministry achieve the goals of the project.