The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah has stated that the establishment of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources in 2017 by the President was in the right direction towards solving the Country's challenges in the Sanitation Sector.
Her Ministry in the light of this will continue to give all the needed assistance to the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies throughout the country to be able to perform their duties in the discharge of their mandate.
She said the Assemblies are the direct implementing agencies of all sanitation issues and therefore needed the support of the Ministry to be able to perform.
The Ministry she disclosed handles issues of policy.
It is only when the issues exceeded the mandate of the Assemblies that the Ministry comes in for purposes of policy formulation, supervision and coordination.
Hon. Cecelia Abena Dapaah stated this when she granted an interview to a Kumasi based TV and FM station on Friday, April 17, 2020.
Government policy to absorb water bill
Hon Cecilia Abena Dapaah said government policy decision to absorb the water bills of Ghanaians for the months of April, May and June respectively was in line with government's commitment towards fighting the spread of the COVID 19 pandemic and also to cushion the economic hardship of Ghanaians through this difficult times.
She said there are those who will like to take advantage of the intervention policy to abuse it and called on all Ghanaians to reciprocate the President's good gesture by using water judiciously.
She however indicated that anyone caught abusing the offer will be sanctioned.
On the supply of water by tankers to the various Communities, the Sector Minister urged the service providers to register with the Ghana Water Company Ltd. for their services to be streamlined for effective delivery and to ensure things are properly done.
Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah also disclosed that the Ghana Water Company Ltd. and the Community Water and Sanitation Agency have been directed not to issue out bills to consumers until after June.
Protection of Water Bodies
The sector Minister again reiterated the need for effective protection of the Country's water resources.
She said the more our water bodies are polluted, the more difficult it becomes for Ghana Water Company to treat the water for consumption.
And this translates to huge financial burden on the Company. She said it was important for us all to protect the water bodies for future generations.
Sanitation: Waste Management and treatment
Hon Cecilia Abena Dapaah commended the various Companies and individuals who are into waste management and treatment particularly recycling.
She however indicated that the government's long term policy direction is waste to energy which will bring in more national fortunes.
She reiterated the need for every household to acquire a bin for proper disposal of their solid waste.
She further announced that in due course the Assemblies will enforce this by-law to the latter.
She indicated that the lockdown has provided the opportunity for massive clean up exercises in affected areas and hoped the exercise will continue.
On the establishment of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah said the President must be commended for it which is proving very useful.
She disclosed that prior to the establishment of the Ministry the issue of sanitation was handled at the level of Department at the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
Adequate Staff was also a critical challenge
She stated that now the Ministry has 15 dedicated professional experts who liaise continuously with the Assemblies for coordination and supervision.
This she admitted has significantly improved upon the sanitation situation
She reminded Ghanaians that every day is sanitation day and should be observed as such.
Finally, the Sector Minister Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah admonished all Ghanaians to strictly observe the safety and protocol measures by the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service to combat the spread of the COVID 19 pandemic.
BY Nelson Kofi Akatey
P R Unit