Tamale, July 05, GNA - The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has given 104 billion cedis to five metropolitan assemblies to promote environmental sanitation and these are Accra, Tema, Kumasi, Sekondi/Takoradi and Tamale.
Mr Charles Bintim, the sector Minister, said the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly would receive 10 billion cedis as its share to carry out sanitation activities this year.
He was speaking at the fourth annual sanitation week celebration of the School of Hygiene in Tamale on Monday.
Mr Bintim said the ministry was also giving 138 motorcycles and two pick-up vehicles to environmental officers and institutions throughout the country to enable them to reach out to the people, especially those in the rural communities.
Mr Bintim expressed regret that people were not patronising refuse containers and dustbins district and metropolitan assemblies had provided.
''Some people still believe that it is the duty of the government to clean the environment. I appeal to such people to change their attitude and help in the environmental sanitation effort.''
On delay in absorbing graduates from the School of Hygiene into the district and metropolitan assemblies, Mr Bintim described the practice as unacceptable and gave the assurance that the ministry would collaborate with the Ministry of Health to address the problem.
He said the government would provide a block of three classrooms for the School of Hygiene in Tamale to enhance students' intake.
Mr Mohammed Amin Adam, the Deputy Northern Regional Minister, quoted the National Economic Dialogue Report of 2004 and said the national average safe environmental sanitation was 55 per cent while the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions had only 20 per cent. He called on stakeholders including civil society organizations and individuals to collaborate to address the sanitation problem in the country.
Mr Adam said the Tamale Metropolis generates about 180 tonnes of waste daily and spends 97 million cedis to collect only 80 tonnes of it. ''The Tamale Metropolitan Assembly needs 150 million cedis monthly to be able to collect all the waste generated in the metropolis.'' He urged the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to put in place measures that would strengthen institutions charged to ensure safe environmental sanitation.
Mr Adam suggested to the assembly to identify institutions that generate waste and levy them.
Alhaji Iddrisu Adam, The Acting Metropolitan Chief Executive, said drivers should not provide solid waste to farmers as manure. "This practice is dangerous and hazardous to the health of the people since the waste can be washed into water sources that they drink," he said.