President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said in 2019, apart from continuing with educating and sensitising the people, the country intends to use its bye-laws to enforce cleanliness.
“The Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Sanitation are working together to try sanitation offences. Persons who litter would be tried and punished, and so would those who steal litter bins from our streets.”
President Akufo-Addo said this in Parliament on Thursday when he presented the 2019 State of the Nation Address.
“We are launching a National Sanitation Brigade to help us carry this out, and, through this vehicle, we will not only keep our towns and cities clean, but will also provide jobs for our young people. Once waste is properly and efficiently managed, we then can explore how to use the waste collected to advance the economy of our nation,” the President said.
He noted that a cursory look around the cities and towns showed that plastic filth was the biggest problem and that the country would solve this problem through the internationally recognised priorities of waste: reduction first, followed by reuses, recycle, recovery and lastly disposal, which is to be avoided whenever possible.
President Akufo-Addo said the Government had prepared a Plastics Management Policy, with the overarching aim of meeting the challenges of comprehensive plastics management.
He said about 82 per cent of Ghana’s plastic waste could be readily recovered and recycled with existing technologies into value-addition products for use within Ghana and the West African Sub-region.
“A vibrant recycling industry in Ghana could recover nearly one million tonnes of waste plastics from the environment and landfills annually, to be recycled into basic-need products valued at GH¢2 billion per year, creating many jobs across the economy,” the President said.
“Currently, extensive discussions are being concluded with investors on the most sustainable options available to rid Ghana of this plastic filth menace.”
He said the problem of electronic waste was being tackled head-on adding; “On August 20, 2018, I launched the National E-waste Programme to mark the commencement of two key provisions of the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Act, Act 917.”
These provisions, the President said, would empower the External Service Provider (SGS) to verify, assess and collect the advance recycle eco fee on all electrical and electronic equipment from all exporting countries, and also to establish a state-of-the-art recycling facility at Agbogbloshie, whose construction will begin in April.
“Not only would we solve the problem of waste disposal in an environmentally-friendly manner, setting up the recycling facility will lead to the creation of over twenty thousand (20,000) direct jobs, through the establishment of associated holding centres in each regional capital and collection centres in each district.”
President Akufo-Addo said it was unfortunate that in 2019 the country still had to revisit the issue of open defecation.
“Mr Speaker it is unfortunate that, in 2019, we still have to revisit this topic, but, open defecation cannot be a characteristic of a country that is working to be transformed economically, and to be counted amongst the developed nations of the world. That is why it is absolutely imperative that we make a success of our One House-One-Toilet Policy.”
President Akufo-Addo said the Community Led Total Sanitation Programme is being implemented in over 4,500 communities in 130 districts to achieve Open Defecation Free Communities.