Ineffective inter-sectoral collaboration hampering Ghana’s MDG achievement – Dr. Tetteh

Public toiletsGhana has progressed well in achieving some Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), but the country is off track regarding some goals, like improving maternal health. It is not likely the country can achieve this by the end of the remaining 1000 days before 2015.

“Our inter sectoral collaboration hasn’t been very effective. And we really will have to expedite the process towards that,” Dr Edith Tetteh, the Vice Chairperson of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) has said.

In an exclusive interview with at a Post-2015 Millennium Development Agenda consultation session in Accra, Dr Tetteh acknowledged that, most of the MDGs involve inter sectoral collaboration. But she regretted that, the sectors tend to keep to themselves. She therefore stressed the need for stakeholders to dialogue, negotiate, collaborate and coordinate efforts in other to achieve the MDGs.

“As soon as people hear of cholera outbreak we say health but it is more than health, health is there to treat but then who provides them with safe potable water? Is it health? No, it is water resources and that’s outside of the Health Ministry. What about Water Resources?” She asks.

“Even if we look at the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that we say we have achieved, we should be able to read between the lines, and ask ourselves, if we say universal primary education, what about all the disabled children who are out of school. At the time we say we are practicing inclusion, is it exclusion for them?” She lamented.

Dr Tetteh urged Ghanaians to accelerate progress towards achieving the goal even in the midst of experiencing some failures.

Earlier at the discussion, contributing to the discussion on the way forward, Martha Tia Agyei, acting Environmental Health Officer from the Northern Region also mentioned that there is now a government policy document that came out in 2012 which forbids any individual or organisation(s) to put up toilet facilities anywhere. It can only be put up at designated places like markets and lorry parks.

Sandra Boison, the Public Relations Officer of the National Commission on Culture, however believes that, this sanitation problem cannot be solved with the introduction of this policy.

According to her, if you go to places like Nima or Ashaiman communities which are by highways, you will see people openly squatting and defecating. “It isn’t something that Ghana at age 56 we should be seeing, it is absurd,” she lamented.
She regrets that, at this stage, the government is trying to enforce an unpopular policy which says that, if you don’t have toilet in your home you should be prosecuted, instead of encouraging people to put up toilet facilities in their homes.

The Post 2015 Consultations in Ghana under the theme: “The World We Want” was a follow-up to the UN Millennium Campaign to support consultations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Ghana was selected among 50 countries to take part in this process initiated by the UN Secretary General.

The objective of the country consultations is to stimulate discussions among national stakeholders, and to garner inputs and ideas for a shared global vision of “The World We Want.”

In this connection, the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and the United Nations Country System in Ghana are partnering to promote inclusive consultations with individuals, government representatives, Civil Society Organisations (CSO), women representatives, youth, children and members of the private sector among others.

By Pascal Kelvin Kudiabor

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