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The former Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Ejisu- Juaben municipal assembly Afrifa Yamoah Ponkoh has commended the creation of Water and Sanitation Ministry by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
A section of Ghanaians have criticised the President’s idea of decoupling water and sanitation from works and housing.
But the former MCE who is vest in local governance thinks otherwise praising the President for creating a ministry solely to fight sanitation in the country saying it will help manage sanitary issues which confronting the country.
He expressed hope that there will be an additional; funding unlike the previous years where MMDCEs have had to use the same money allocated for other areas in fighting sanitary conditions.
Speaking with Kasapa News’ Akwasi Nsiah, he indicated that he supports the idea behind the creation of this new ministry if government has the resources to push this sanitation agenda.
He said the work load at the ministry of local government is heavy hence the failure of Saturday sanitation programme to deal with sanitary situation of the country.
He observed that Ghana needs long term solutions and that he fully supports the sanitation ministry.
‘The creation of this ministry is highly commendable; we all know that successive governments have been battling sanitary issues for a very long time.
It is good that MMDCEs are handling sanitation issues, but sanitation issues are headaches for MMDCEs, they use the same budget allocated to them to fight sanitation issues. Now that sanitation is on its own, there is going to be an additional budget to deal with sanitation especially municipal and metropolitan assemblies they have been engulfed with waste. Its implementation is what we will be looking at because it’s a new thing that has come up, how the ministry is going to fair among other things.
On the surface I think it’s good, because the agenda or process is going to be under one ministry. I remember when I was at Ejisu Juaben, the Act does not even allow an MCE to establish a waste management department, in my own way I had to establish this department because I realised waste was engulfing us, now the whole city is clean. If government has the resources to fight sanitation issues, I fully support the idea,’ he explained.
On his part, the former boss of National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG), George Kyei Baffour said the new ministry conflicts with the existing ministry of works and housing suggesting that the President could have concentrated on the local government ministry to fight sanitation issues.
‘Curbing sanitation issues has been the functions of MMDCEs, so its existence is in good order, the President has the executive power to do realignment which I can’t argue on that. But I wonder the aspect of sanitation he wants to focus on, if he is going to fight ‘galamsey’ which has been a source of worry for Ghanaians, then it’s a good idea, its problematic if they are going to concentrate on dealing with filth in various houses and towns. There are no institutions to deal with this.
If there is a loop hole he could have concentrated on the local government ministry to execute this, we need to manage the problem than to shift focus, lets see how things puns out,’ he submitted.
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