Parliament urged to approve environmental and sanitation policy

Mr Demedeme Naa Lenason, Director of Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate, has appealed to parliament to approve the environmental sanitation policy before it.

Mr. Lenason said this at the opening of a three-day review and planning meeting for regional environmental health officers in Cape Coast.

He said lack of coordinated plan was regrettable and stressed the need for the formulation of a national strategic action plan to reflect the real situation in their areas to effectively deal with environmental and sanitation issues.

Mr. Lenason said sanitation was very critical in combating diseases and it also impacts directly on tourism.

He said challenges that had been the bane to healthy environment in the various communities and beaches and these include lack of adequate toilet in many homes.

He said pan latrines are still in use with Accra alone having over 5,000 of such latrines.

Mr. Lenason also abhorred the fact that a survey done in 2006 indicated that about 90% of solid waste generated in Accra and Kumasi are not properly disposed off.

He said the Indian government had made available 10 million dollars to purchase waste management equipment to help salvage the situation adding that the directorate would continue to embark on massive sensitization and advocacy programmes on the need to keep the environment clean.

He said courses at the School of Hygiene and the universities will be well tailored to ensure coordination to help in the turning out good human resources for the sector.

In a speech read for her the Minister for the Central Region, Mrs Ama Benyiwa Doe, said it was unacceptable for Metropolitan Municipal and District assemblies to use the chunk of their common fund into waste management.

She said 70% of all cases reported at the out patient department in the hospitals are environmentally.

Professor John Victor Mensah, director of the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Cape Coast who chaired the function, said the country needed committed environmental health officers who would enforce an effective and efficient sanitation services to ensure conducive settlements.

Source: GNA

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