Service Providers call for enforcement of sanitation laws

Accra, Aug. 24, GNA - Mrs Ama A. Ofori-Antwi, the Executive Secretary of Environmental Services Providers Association (ESPA) has called for the enforcement of the country's existing sanitation bye laws to ensure a clean and healthy environment. She expressed concern about the growing incidence of indiscriminate disposal of waste without recourse to the health of the citizenry, and called on the authorities to be vigilant and enforce the law to the letter. Mrs Ofori-Antwi made the call in Accra at a panel discussion on the Ghana Journalists Association's (GJA) programme dubbed: "Business Advocate" on Ghana Television. The programme was supported by BUSAC Fund, Denmark Embassy and the United States Agency for International Development. Mrs Ofori-Antwi said the ESPA was incorporated as a company in 2001 to provide an advocacy body for environmental service providers in the country, as well as provide both solid and liquid waste management services within Metropolitan/Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs). She said membership of the Association included those in the Liquid Waste Management Sector; Solid Waste Management Sector; Industrial Waste Management Sector and Waste Oil Treatment Sector. The rest are Recycling Companies; Scrap dealers; Janitorial pest control service providers; Landfill Management Sector; Waste Energy Sector and Mini Carts and Truck Pushers. Mrs Ofori-Antwi said the effective establishment of a waste management fund would be of benefit to all stakeholders, since it would provide a special fund in managing waste in the country. "Waste management must be the responsibility of all and sundry and it is imperative for all stakeholders in the sector to continue with public education for an increased impact", she added. Mrs Ofori-Antwi appealed to the government to focus more on preventive measures in dealing with waste management since it had a crucial impact on national development. She appealed to the government to ensure the timely release of payments to service providers to ensure smooth operations in the managing of waste. Mr Nii Lante Vanderpuye, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development said the bye-laws on sanitation needed to be reviewed to ensure urgency and the strict compliance. He said the existing laws were not punitive enough to serve as deterrent to offenders, and added that there was a bill before parliament with support from stakeholders to ensure safe and sound policies for managing waste. The Deputy Minister said as part of measures to curb the incidence of poor sanitation, government had instituted a monthly sanitation day across the country and urged all to get involve since the country spent more on waste management. Dr Edward Larbi Siaw, Tax Policy Adviser at the Ministry of Finance said the establishment of the fund was critical since it would build the capacity of the existing labour force and support public education on waste management. Mr Quaranchie Adama-Tettey, Project Coordinator of Plastic Water Collectors Association welcomed the idea of reviewing the country's sanitation bye-laws, saying it would make them more proactive and effective in ensuring sustainable environmental management. Source: GNA