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02.03.2006 General News

Policy for waste and sanitation mg't in the offing

By GNA

Accra, March 2, GNA - The Ministry of Environment and Science is finalising a holistic programme to inform Government on the national waste management budget and to raise funds to fully implement the waste and sanitation policy.

Ms Christine Churcher, Minister of Environment and Science, said at a press conference on Thursday that the programme under which there would be collaboration between stakeholders, would sustain public awareness campaigns for attitudinal and behavioural change for a healthy environment.

The press conference, under the theme "Zero Littering; The Way to Healthy Living" forms part of programmes towards the celebration of "Africa Environment Day" which falls on, March 3. Ms Churcher said the programme emphasised the child and the environment since charity began at not only the home but during the formative years of the child. She said the Ministry was also working to come up with a Plastic Waste Management Bill to make it mandatory for companies which dealt in plastics to contribute towards the cleaning of the environment. Ms Churcher said if the health of the entire population was to change for a productive Africa, then every effort must be made to get rid of the habit of littering.

She said malaria and other diseases like cholera were caused by an unhealthy environment killing two out of every 10 children born in Africa adding that 75 per cent of an estimated 2.7 million persons who died of malaria each year came from Africa. Ms Churcher said recent statistics in Ghana indicated that more than 850 billion cedis was spent on the treatment and the care for malaria annually. "This will not be the case if we maintain a clean and healthy environment," she added.

Friday's event, which marks the Fourth Africa Environment Day celebration, was proclaimed by the Council of Ministers of the African Union during its 76th Summit Session held in Durban, South Africa, in July 2002.

Ghana's celebration would focus on highlighting the environmental sensitivity and significance of the drainage system at the Odaw River and Korle Lagoon that have been heavily polluted as well as the pollution of other water bodies in the districts.

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