The principle, under the government’s revised environmental sanitation policy, will provide opportunity for waste generators to contribute to sustainable financing of waste management services.
He directed the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) to take immediate steps to ensure that the policy goes through the required legislative processes to make it enforceable in the country.
Vice President Mahama said this in an address read on his behalf at the opening of the Second National Environmental Sanitation Conference (NESCON) in Kumasi on Tuesday.
The three-day conference, which is on the theme: “Enhancing public-private-partnership for effective environmental sanitation services-the role of stakeholders,” is being attended by Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), district environmental health officers, district planning officers, development partners, private sector and non-governmental organisations in water and sanitation.
It seeks to provide a platform for sector players to dialogue on environmental challenges facing the nation.
The Vice President noted that in spite of the huge investments that go into the sector from government, MMDAs and development partners, little impact is made in terms of cleanliness on the streets, markets, open spaces and places of convenience.
He said the perennial floods in cities and towns during rains require drastic measures like strict enforcement of national and assembly by-laws on sanitation and the provision of needed resources and infrastructure.
Mr Mahama said with the increasing population and urbanisation, waste management would continue to be a problem if effective and innovative measures are not put in place.
He urged the participants to focus on how to institute measures for waste avoidance, minimisation, recycling, recovery, appropriate licensing, collection and storage requirements as well as environmentally sound treatment and disposal of problematic waste streams particularly plastic waste.
Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, said through private-public-partnership, the Ministry has taken delivery of 700 trucks for distribution to the MMDAs to promote sanitation.
Additionally, $11 million grant has been secured from the Exim-Bank to purchase sanitary equipment for 21 MMDAs adding that, plans are also far advanced to procure 200 motorbikes for district environmental health officers to promote effective monitoring.
The government, he said, has shown greater commitment and there is the need for stakeholders to actively get involve in order to help attain the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on water and sanitation.
Dr Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister expressed the need for the adoption of strategies that would ensure effective management of the environment.
He appealed to the assemblies to take bold steps to enforce by-laws on sanitation and explore avenues for creating wealth from waste.
Demedeme Naa Lenason, Acting Director, Environmental Health of MLGRD, said there is a serious challenge in waste treatment and management in the country.
Ghana has been able to achieve only 14 per cent sanitation out of the targeted 54 per cent under the MDG by 2015.
Demedeme Lesana called for effective strategies to help achieve the target.
Dr Oyabode Olusame, who spoke on behalf of development partners in water and sanitation, called for full implementation of commitments on water and sanitation compact that have been signed by the government.
She also called for adequate funding and improvement of the capacities of MMDAs.