By Edmund Smith-Asante, ACCRA
|Some National Service personnel at the launch|
Two thousand National Service persons have been assigned to metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies across the country in a newly introduced Urban Sanitation Module.
The module is a joint collaboration among the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), the National Waste Bin Distribution Programme (NaWaBin), Melchia Investments Ghana Limited (MIGL) and the National Service Scheme (NSS).
Launching the module in Accra Thursday, the Executive Director of the NSS, Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte, said the decision of the National Service Secretariat to join the sanitation module was informed by a number of factors, including President John Mahama’s announcement last year of the distribution of free waste bins to all households by the MLGRD and other partners.
He also mentioned the National Sanitation Day and the outbreak of cholera which culminated in the massive clearing of waste that has been championed by the president and his vice as other motivating factors for the sanitation module.
“As an institution that essentially deploys young people coming out of our tertiary institutions, we thought that if the leaders of this country themselves are setting such wonderful examples, it is important that we take proactive steps to prevent the situation that sent them out from occurring,” he added.
Significance of module
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of MIGL, Capt. F.B Amoh-Twum (retd), said the company offered to collaborate with the NSS on the module because it believed that introducing improved logistics into the waste management sector with IT solutions support would significantly help to deal with the challenges identified.
It would also “reduce the persistent littering of our environment, reduce the creation of refuse heaps by the roadside and prevent the perennial flooding that results from garbage choking our drains during rainfall, and reduce the breeding of houseflies,” he stated.
In a statement delivered on his behalf, the President of the Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA), Mr Joseph Siaw Agyepong, said: “We at ESPA are very excited about this new innovation which will go a long way to address some of our challenges which include inadequate client data, poor revenue collection, poor route planning, inefficient logistics deployment and revenue leakages.”
The Chief Executive of the La Nkwantanang-Madina Municipal Assembly, Mr Franklin Anku, indicated that the module would also capture information on structures and household composition, as well as Global Positioning System (GPS) locations of all structures, to enable effective planning in all sectors of the economy.
This story was first published by the Daily Graphic on September 4, 2015