Ms Benedicta Gogo, a member of Clean Ghana Action Ambassadors, a Non-Governmental Organisation, has called on Parliament to come up with mechanisms to strengthen the sanitation byelaws in the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
She said the mechanisms should be in the form of enforcement, monitoring and evaluation for which the heads of the MMDAs should be held responsible and prosecuted when they fail to enforce the laws.
Ms Gogo said this would make the heads of the local authorities to sit up in doing their work and would help the country to progress in its effort at solving the sanitation menace and “we will ensure a clean Ghana.”
She made the call in a statement she presented to the Ghana News Agency on “Sanitation Crisis in Ghana. How we can get out of the Quagmire.”
Ms Gogo said the role of Parliament in solving the sanitation problem should be devoid of political interference to ensure effective implementation of these laws and to produce a lasting and sustainable solution.
“This means that anyone who breaks these laws should be dealt with severely regardless of their religious background, age, gender, political affiliation or status in society,” she said.
She said there was the need for continuous awareness creation on television, radio, the print media, among others, with catchy phrases and good graphics about how “our negative behaviours towards sanitation affects us and the environment we live in.”
Ms Gogo said government should show the political will to fight the menace and invest and partner civil society organisations, youth groups, academia and technocrats for a well-executed awareness campaign to educate the citizenry about the devastating effects of poor sanitation while it championed innovative waste management mechanisms.
“Since we are looking for solutions amongst people with diverse cultural background and different environments across the country, there is the need to engage the people through community mobilisation and organisation of talks.
“Showing videos and pictorial evidence of the devastating effects of our sanitation issue will inform the people about how they contribute to the never ending problem and how they can contribute to bring a lasting solution.
“This means, the various languages spoken in each region of the country must be taken into serious consideration if we hope to sensitise the entire population,” Ms Gogo said.
She urged various religious leaders to teach their followers proper sanitation practices while heads of departments, private and civil society organisations across the country should also be urged to teach their staff suitable waste disposal in the work place, outside and at their various homes.
She suggested an urgent ban on the production of plastic bags and use like; Eritrea, Morocco, Rwanda and Kenya, as its use affected the environment, water bodies, plants and marine life.