Private sector identified as key in solving Ghana’s sanitation problems

The private sector has been identified as a key player in efforts to rid the country of filth and insanitary conditions.

At the maiden sanitation stakeholder’s forum Wednesday at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra, government agencies, donor agencies and other stakeholders in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector dialogued on the role of the private sector in providing sustainable and practical solutions to the country’s sanitation challenges.

Speakers at the event stressed that there must be greater partnership to build capacity, work towards behaviourial change and the provision of funds if progress would be made in cleaning the country’s filth.

They also called for the creation of a platform for direct dialogue between private companies, government and the international community.

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Alhaji Collins Dauda, said the private sector has been instrumental in increasing access to waste bins, waste recycling, composting, haulage of municipal waste and ensuring better management of final disposal sites and engineered landfills.

He said Ghana’s Development Partners (DPs) have also been helpful in the fight against Ghana’s filth.

“Considering the fact that the government is constrained in terms of financial resources, the support of our DPs has gone a long way to improve the sanitation situation in the country. Indeed, if we are to forge ahead in improving insanitary conditions in Ghana, we must consider it as a shared responsibility,” the Collins Dauda said.

Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) at UNICEF and Leader of the development partners, Mr David Duncan identified capacity building, private sector engagement, sustainability, knowledge management, increased government prioritisation and decentralisation as key areas that the DPs saw as needing attention.

He said although substantial funds had been committed to the sanitation sector by The Netherlands (€100 million), Canada (over $100 million), the World Bank GAMA project (around $150 million), among other investments by other DPs, “it is not the money that really makes the difference”.

President of the Environmental Service Providers Association, and Chief Executive of the Zoomlion Company Mr Joseph Siaw-Agyepong said by the end of January 2016, ‘Lavender Hill’ would be cleared.

The Korle Gono-based Lavender Hill is famous for its overpowering stench because raw liquid waste is dumped there to flow into the sea.

He identified lack of access to financing and non-enforcement of existing bye-laws, as well as policies on sanitation, as challenges facing the private waste management sector.

The maiden sanitation dialogue was organised by the Environmental Services Providers Association (ESPA), Zoomlion Company Limited, the Fidelity Bank, the Graphic Communications Group Ltd (GCGL) and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD)

It was aimed at raising awareness of sanitation issues, appeal to the international development community and the government of Ghana to include private companies in the execution of projects.

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