Leader of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) John Dramani Mahama has pledged to realign the issues of sanitation with the local government ministry, should he get the nod to lead Ghana again.
Mahama, who led Ghana between July 2012 and January 2017, said his government would appoint a deputy local government minister who would be solely responsible for sanitation.
“That deputy minister will ensure that the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) execute programs and plans for making the country clean and bringing to book households and communities that allow their environment to be dirty,” the former president added.
The former president, who was addressing a wide range of issues during a live interaction on facebook, said that the current arrangement with a dedicated sanitation ministry was serving no useful purpose, with garbage swallowing up the country.
On the pledge by president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to make Accra the cleanest city in West Africa, the former Ghanaian leader said that was a total failure as evidence showed that Accra had rather become the dirtiest city in the sub-region.
The issue of sanitation, he urged, should be tackled devoid of partisan considerations, condemning his political opponents for allegedly urging their supporters not to participate in the National Sanitation Day introduced by his government.
“We introduced the National Sanitation Day to reawaken that spirit of communal cleanliness in our people, but this government has discontinued it, which I think is not the best,” the former president maintained.
He added: “The day President Akufo-Addo re-introduces the National Sanitation Day, I will participate in it wholeheartedly.”
Mahama also deplored the attitude of the authorities in the face of a worsening sanitation situation, with central reservations between dual-carriageways being overgrown with weeds, posing a grave danger to motorists and pedestrians.
However, the executive director of Sky Fox, a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) advocacy organization, Patrick Apoyah urged the former president to get to understand the significance of the ministry, and its challenges, so he could propose measures for dealing with the challenges.
“But with the issue of performance, I agree with him,” Apoyah added.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kings Hall Media Emmanuel Addai also argued that the sanitation and water resources ministry be maintained, as it had helped raise the profile of the sector.
“We need a dedicated ministry to tackle the sanitation menace. What the former president should do, if he regains power, is to provide them with a National Sanitation Authority,” he added. Enditem