Cabinet expresses concern about Ghana’s deplorable sanitation

Cabinet has expressed concern about the deplorable sanitation condition in the country that had created a gap in achieving the Millennium Development Goals target on sanitation and environment.

To address the situation, Cabinet has approved a Strategic Environmental Sanitation Investment Plan (SESIP) to provide the platform for development partners to resource and assist the country to implement a new direction and focus in government’s plan to address the sanitation menace.

The four-year plan from 2011-2015, will help the country to achieve the MDG on sanitation and environment.

Speaking at the monthly briefing on government business focusing on decisions taken at Cabinet level in Accra on Thursday, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, a Deputy Minister of Information expressing the concern of Cabinet, said Ghana was lagging behind in the achievement of the MDGs sanitation related.

The press briefing was the outcome of the Cabinet meeting held on June 3, which considered 12 Cabinet memoranda and six information papers.

He noted that Ghana was among the countries described as “very off-track” in reaching the MDG target on basic sanitation and called for the need to develop measures to bridge the gap and achieve meaningful progress.

In addition to the issue of inadequate basic household sanitation, there was also the need to improve all the other aspects of environmental sanitation.

The Deputy Minister explained that Cabinet had requested for the exemption of all forms of taxes amounting to $512,758 for the Northern Rural Growth Programme, which would contribute to the development of the area and in line with the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) intervention.

The Northern Rural Growth Programme, which consists of commodity chain development, rural infrastructure, access to financial services and programme coordination, is being co-financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) out of which AfDB is providing $60 million.

Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa noted that Cabinet had observed that the e-zwich system was an integrated and interoperable payment infrastructure for switching and clearing electronic payments and called for a critical examination of existing communication infrastructure to facilitate the e-zwich usage in the rural areas.

“Cabinet has further directed that more possibilities be explored in getting the vast numbers of customers of the commercial banks to use the e-zwich system for their transactions,” he added.

Mr Mohammed Baba Jamal, a Deputy Minister of Information reiterated the need for Ghanaians to change their attitude towards sanitation and the environment.

He called on Ghanaians to be each other’s keeper and ensure that the country was kept clean to achieve the MDG related on sanitation and environment.

Source: GNA

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