Assemblies must seek private partnerships to tackle sanitation concerns

Cape Coast, Mr Kwamena Duncan, the Central Regional Minister, has called on district assemblies in the region to seek private sector partnership arrangements to complement the national quest to end open dedication.

According to a World Bank report open defecation and insanitary conditions costs the country an estimated 79 million dollars annually.

Mr Duncan made the call at the launch of the Central Regional open defecation free (ODFC) campaign in Cape Coast on Thursday witnessed by Metropolitan Municipal District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), traditional leaders, Coordinating Directors, media and the public.

He said one in every five Ghanaians defecate openly, whilst one in every seven households in the country do not have toilet.

He said the resources of the assemblies were limited to adequately provide toilet facilities in the various communities hence the need to seek Private Public Partnership (PPP) arrangements to rid their communities of filth and insanitary conditions.

The Minister described the launch as a major step towards the fight against open defecation and called for collective efforts to end the menace in the shortest possible time.

Mrs Lorretta Roberts, UNICEF WASH Specialist, lauded the Ministry of Water Resources, for striving to improve the sanitation situation in Ghana through the national sanitation campaign.

She re-echoed her office’s determination to sustain the campaign to create awareness on the effects of open defecation on the well-being of Ghanaians.

The campaign will now focus on service providers like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Environmental Health Officers, Community Development Workers, Health and Education staff and Civil Society.

She commended the Regional Minister for personally committing to the cause adding that the region was among one of the five regions with the highest open defecation prevalence rate.

Mrs Roberts called on stakeholders to shoulder the campaign by putting in place the necessary strategies and commit the needed resources to achieve the targets it had set itself.

Osabarima Kwasi Atta II, Omanhen of Oguaa Traditional Area, pledged his personal commitment to fight the menace and called for attitudinal change by the five million Ghanaians who daily engage in open defecation.

As part of his commitment, he pledged to convene an emergency meeting with all Assembly members in the Cape Coast metropolis in 14 days to chart a new course to deal with the issue.

Source: Ghana News Agency