ACCRA, Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko has called all Ghanaians to join hands to develop legally and socially binding commitments to ensure the treatment of all human excreta in the country by 2019 in order to address Ghana’s huge sanitation and health problems, as well as create thousands of sustainable jobs, clean energy and improve healthy agriculture practice across the country.

He made the call on Tuesday in a speech read on his behalf during the commissioning of the Safisana Waste-to-Energy Treatment Plant at Ashaiman in the Greater Accra Region. The project is supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the government of Netherlands.

The Minister stressed that such a move must be supported with the needed investments from all related Ministries. In this regard, he said the Energy Ministry would consider the allocation of at least 10 per cent of financing facilities for rural electrification under the National Electrification Scheme to renewable energy-based mini-grids and stand-alone solar home systems in island, lakeside and sparsely populated communities nationwide.

He noted that priority would be given to increasing local content and participation in the renewable energy sector, adding that waste-to-energy initiatives would receive intervention in the National Renewable Energy Master Plan (NREMP) with massive boost through the legally binding commitment.

Agyarko gave an assurance that the government would continue with ongoing renewable energy projects launched by the previous administration, particularl, the 200,000 National Rooftop Solar Programme, mini-grids for the Ada-East District, and the AfDB off-grid project under GEDAP III project, among others.

Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, said the treatment of human excreta must start with the provision of toilet facilities for all households. According to him, about 75 per cent of households still resort to open defecation.

He said it was about time separation-of-waste policies were enforced to ensure that organic raw materials were made available for treatment.