Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah, the Deputy Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, has urged Environmental Health Prosecutors (EHPs) to enhance their capacity to enable them prosecute sanitation cases.
He urged the EHPs to be knowledgeable in environmental laws and study issues relating to key offences, so as to deal with sanitation issues effectively, while mastering the art of preparing cases for trial, through the court process up to sentencing.
Mr Boamah gave the advice at the opening of a two-day workshop for EHPs organised by the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area – Sanitation and Water Project (GAMA-SWP) under the auspices of the World Bank through the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR).
It was to train the EHPs on the revised sanitation manual for them to become skilful in prosecuting sanitation offences. Mr Boamah said due to the emerging issues in sanitation, the Ministry had reviewed the prosecution manual to guide health prosecutors in the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs).
The revised manual will reduce time and cost of prosecuting sanitation offenders.
The Deputy Minister said poor attitude of people towards the environment was a burden on the health sector and a threat to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and called on the MMDAs to intensify their education on sanitation to ensure clean and safe cities.
Mr Boamah said: “Although so much resources have been committed by successive governments and donor countries, not much has been achieved, hence the need to develop innovative strategies to enforce the laws to prosecute sanitation offenders”.
He said the Ministry was rolling out the Sanitation Brigade concept in all MMDAs to augment the current low staff numbers of the Environmental Health Officers.The government would support sanitation service providers with modern trucks and equipment to deliver quality and efficient work.
He said the training programme would be extended to Kumasi and Tamale to build the capacity of more than 140 health prosecutors. Mr Anthony Mensah, the Director, Environmental Sanitation Directorate of the MSWR, told the GNA that the workshop sought to ensure that the MMDAs became more effective in the enforcement of their by-laws to achieve clean environment.