An Educationist and a Social Commentator, Mr. George Akom, has charged the Ghana Police Service in collaboration with the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, and Local Government and Rural Development Ministry to create a special unit within the Ghana Police Service for sanitation related issues.
He said that, this Special Unit would enforce sanitation laws and maintain sanity in proper waste disposal.
Mr. Akom said that this Special Unit within the Ghana Police Service would make sure that citizens abide by all sanitation laws of which the personnel have to be trained to spot, educate, warn and arrest offending waste disposal abuses, and apprehend culprits for improper waste disposal within the cities, commercial areas such as markets , lorry terminals, communities and other public places as the case of Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate that educates road users on accident-free road practices by training motorists and pedestrians, and the enforcement of traffic regulations.
He emphasized again that, this Special Unit would help to curb the negative attitudinal and behavioural factors affecting human waste disposal and management.
He mentioned that the re-introduction of Sanitation Officers was a good policy, but the perception by citizens and lack of the will-power of these officers to exercise their work duties fully had been a bane to the successful implementation of the policy. “It is always surprising as to how people attach some sort of respect to some professions.
Any situation which requires abiding of laws normally requires people in uniforms like police and military, therefore, the police unit would be the best to enforce these laws”, Mr. Akom stated.
Sanitation in Ghana has been a nightmare which had received several policy interventions and strategies, but the problem still existed in a more exponential manner.
Many successive governments had tried with several measures to curb this menace, but the sustainability, and lack of technological and innovative ways to addresses the problem holistically and more pragmatic manner had not been at its best.
The country had spent whooping sums of monies in addressing the challenges through public education, clearing of refuse dumps, distillation of choked gutters and drains, donation and payment to flood victims, but the problem lingered over till now.
Mr. Akom, who is also Assistant Registrar of the Ghana Technology University College-Kumasi Campus, opined that the ad hoc ways to solve the problem would not yield any positive results, and emphasized that the solution to the problem requires a long- term plan, which would include but not limited to the incorporation of sanitation concepts in our curriculum at early stages, involvement of religious bodies, application of best technologies, creation of employment opportunities, involvement of stakeholders and strict enforcement of sanitation laws.
He bemoaned about how solid waste had caused huge financial burden for successive governments and the dangers it could create in the near future to our fertile lands and living organisms.
He pleaded with the citizenry of Ghana to be law abiding in enforcing the sanitations laws to avoid indiscriminate waste disposal at places at all times.
He therefore charged the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources to enforce sanitation laws and also consider recycling methodologies as a means to tackle the over growing plastic waste materials in the country.