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14.04.2004 Regional News

Volta Region takes measures on waste disposal in communities

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Ho, April 14, GNA- The Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC) on Tuesday directed that all District Chief Executives (DCEs) must develop a Waste Management Action Plan and deposit a copy of such plans in his office by May 15, this year.

This was among a number of measures the VRCC has taken to advise district assemblies to stop the indiscriminate disposal of waste in communities.

The measures include policies to seek the support of other stakeholders to manage waste, and prosecute offenders.

Mr Kwasi Owusu-Yeboa, Volta Regional Minister announced the measures at the first 2004 VRCC meeting attended by District Chief Executives (DCEs) and Heads of Departments in Ho.

He asked DCEs to encourage and motivate, Chiefs, Community leaders, Assembly members and other opinion leaders to organise health promotion activities in their communities.

He also directed all DCEs to liase with law enforcement agencies, including the Police to ensure compliance of sanitary laws and regulations.

The Regional Minister further directed that except for Keta and Ho districts, which already have disposal sites, the other districts should acquire final disposal sites for use.

Mr Owusu-Yeboa said the assemblies should use the GPRTU in the execution of their sanitary programmes, particularly at stations and vehicles on transit, encourage formation of environmental clubs in schools and institute sanitary contest among schools.

The Minister further directed the full enforcement of district assembly bye-laws to compel drivers plying their districts to provide waste bins on their vehicles, and warned that DCEs would be sanctioned if they did not carry out the directives to the letter.

He regretted that indiscriminate disposal of waste in the communities needed stringent steps to check the negative trend or "we might have to be spending huge resources on waste disposal and disease prevention rather than on development".

In reply, Mr Linus Koffie, Ketu DCE said punitive measures to check such habits in his district, had been misconstrued as political vendetta and appealed to the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area to intervene.