A national sanitation campaign has been launched by the President Nana Akufo-Addo to address the growing sanitation problem in towns and cities in Ghana. For years, country has struggled to implement a comprehensive program to keep Ghana clean. Some efforts have yielded good results in the past, only for the streets to return to its filthy state in a matter of months, sometimes weeks.
The campaign which was launched on Monday, November 13 at the banquet hall, is aimed at addressing the poor sanitation issues. It is expected to combine the use of automated sweepers, a national sanitation brigade (equivalent to the town council officers decades ago) and other methods not seen in recent sanitation campaigns.
President Akufo Addo called for Accra to be the cleanest city in Africa, he walked the path of taking the first responsibility, that is dealing with areas closest to him by noting that “we will commence with the Government business district, which covers the Presidency, Parliament House, the Ministries, and the Courts”. Charity begins at home, indeed. He added “we will focus on the ceremonial and arterial roads going in and out of the city, to ensure that they are regularly cleaned up.”
Many social commentators are likely to jump onto microphones to criticize the initiative. Is it good use of our funds? The answer to this depends on your view on sanitation. It depends on the importance you attach to sanitation. By that yardstick, each one will be able to determine whether the government’s initiative and the accompanying spending is justified or not.
Outbreak of cholera and other preventable diseases are often caused by poor sanitation. The cost of dealing with these situations and their consequences often far outweighs attempts at preventing them.
The creation of jobs for officers involved in the sanitation program is another way to look at the picture. Many Ghanaians look up to governments to create jobs for them, or at least, create opportunities for jobs to spring up. The national sanitation program is one that is sure to absorb many economically active members of the population. The effects of such a move are so evident that I should not bother to explain.
Tourism grows with a clean environment as well as a stable and sound atmosphere. Ghana prides itself of being peaceful, an attribute that positively impacts tourism, yet the industry isn’t one that the country can boast of as a major income driver. Sanitation is the other factor that can complement the peaceful and loving nature of Ghanaians, to drive tourism. Again, the impact of a booming tourism includes the creation of jobs, foreign exchange, just to mention a few.
We can go on and on, to look at Ghana’s national sanitation program, analyzing whether it is what the people and the country need, and whether it good use of funds and time. The simple way to determine this is how important sanitation is to you and the nation as a whole.