Ghana is gearing up to join the global community to celebrate this year’s World Cleanup Day scheduled for September 30th, 2023, to address the pressing issues of environmental sustainability and promote a cleaner and greener environment.
The celebration forms part of the nation’s commitment to improving environmental sanitation services and awareness creation.
Activities earmarked for the day include clean-up exercise, traditional and social media sensitisation campaigns and intensive premises inspection by staff of the District Assemblies, among others.
The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR), Dr Freda Akosua Prempeh, who disclosed this during a press briefing in Accra on Friday noted that the Ministry was strategically established to enhance the delivery of WASH services to the people of Ghana and coordinate activities of water and environmental sanitation to ensure efficiency.
She stated, “World Cleanup Day, a global movement that began in Estonia in 2008, has grown exponentially, bringing together millions of people from every corner of the world. It is a day when people come together to clean up their environment and raise awareness about the importance of responsible waste management and sustainable living. This year, Ghana is proud to be part of this global initiative, with all and sundry, including District Assemblies and educational institutions ready to clean their environment.
“To enhance the attainment of the government’s vision of a clean Ghana and sustainable WASH service delivery, there is the need for all stakeholders to actively play their prescribed roles effectively. The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources has been established to develop policies that will enhance the delivery of WASH services in the country,” she noted.
She indicated that the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies have been mandated to provide water, sanitation and hygiene facilities and services and enforce the byelaws on sanitation within their jurisdiction. She added: “Households, on the other part, are expected to make the waste available for collection and disposal and keep hygienic surroundings as well as pay the requisite fees for the services being provided by the MMDAs.”
According to Dr Prempeh, Ghana recognises the importance of the water and sanitation sectors and has placed a premium on enhancing the delivery of water and sanitation services in the country.
She noted that Ghana was the first country to sign the Sanitation and Water for All Compact, which made it possible to prioritise WASH services delivery through deliberate and focused committed programmes, with clearly defined plans for funding.
“As a result, Ghana was able to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on Water, five clear years before the deadline,” she added.
She stated that the government and development partners had invested heavily in expanding water and sanitation facilities since 2017, benefiting a large number of people.
“The huge investment has increased the population with access to basic drinking water services from 79% in 2017/2018 to 87.7% in 2021, while the population with access to exclusive household toilet facilities increased from 21% in 2017/2018 to 25.3% in 2021.
In addition, the proportion of water bodies with good Ambient Water Quality increased from 51.5 in 2017 to 58.2 in 2021. Proportion of solid waste properly disposed of in five major towns/cities increased from 70% in 2017 to 85% in 2021,” she noted.
The Minister called on state and non-state actors to collaborate in planning and executing cleanup activities across the country.
“Emphasising the importance of the World Cleanup Day in Ghana hinges on collaboration and partnerships. We need to educate the youth who are the future leaders of this country with the view of instilling in them a sense of responsibility towards the environment,” she said.
The Celebration is themed “Cleaning for Safe, Healthy, and Sustainable Ghana.”
Patience Anaadem, ISD