Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, Northern Regional Minister has asked Metropolitan, District Assemblies and technocrats to develop appropriate and low cost sanitation technologies for the treatment and disposal of solid and liquid waste.
He said: "It is time we moved away from the traditional methods of waste management and see waste as a resource that could be used to create wealth and generate employment opportunities.”
Alhaji Idris made the call at the maiden Speech and Prize-Giving Day of Tamale School of Hygiene in Tamale.
The School established in 1952 with 15 students, now has 405 students who undertake a two-year certificate course in Hygiene.
The Northern Regional Minister said Ghana had reached a stage where sanitation services could no longer be free adding: "Currently, less than 15 per cent of the country's population pay for sanitation services".
He said the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment (MLGRDE) in collaboration with the Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment, was taking steps to institutionalise the "Saman-Saman" concept by incorporating it into the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP).
Alhaji Idris said MLGRDE was in addition upgrading the Environmental Health and Sanitation Unit to a Directorate and adequately resource it to play an important role in public education and law enforcement on sanitation matters.
He said the Ministry would review all bye-laws and sanctions on sanitation offences and liaise with the Judiciary on the possibility of setting aside special days for adjudication on sanitary cases.
Alhaji Idris suggested that Metropolitan and District Assemblies should encourage school children to pick litter from the streets and gutters in return for incentives such as the provision of exercise books and pencils, saying: "This would help to keep our towns and villages clean".
Dr Elias Sory, out-going Northern Regional Director of Ghana Health Service, in an address read on his behalf, called on the students to assist the assemblies in managing the sanitation problems in their communities.
He appealed to the students to use their interactions with the communities to educate them, especially women on the importance of keeping their environment clean.
Dr Sory urged them to educate the people on the importance of physical exercises to keep fit.
Mr Philip K. Zori, Principal of the School, appealed to the Administrator of GETFUND to construct a staff common room for the tutors and assistance to their library project, which is about 70 per cent complete.
He called on the assemblies to support students on practical attachment in their communities to make them contribute more effectively to the development of the areas.
Mr Tuekuu Yerguol was adjudged the best academic student and Mr Alidu Kamal-Deen well-behaved student.
Some tutors were also awarded for their dedication and hard work.