The polluter pays principle will work properly in our environment if we take a second look at our culture and attitude in connection with waste management. A lecturer at the Department of Environment and Resource Studies of the Wa Campus of the University for Development Studies, Enoch A. Kosoe made the observation at the In-Service Training Center in Wa. He was speaking at an event christened “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Regional Alliance Platform of the Upper West Region”. GBC’s Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo says the thrust of the event was “Making Household Waste Management a Priority”. Mr. Kosoe described the current system of managing waste in parts of the country by carting them from one point to the other as “re-location” or “redistribution” of waste. He regretted that at times rubbish is burnt in gutters adding that the practice shortens the life span of the drains in question. Mr. Kosoe stated that “flying waste” menace which happens when garbage is in transit to final disposal sites is also a factor that contributes to the difficulty in prosecuting people in respect sanitation offences. The Upper West Regional Director of the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA), Dodji Attiogbe stressed the necessity for vigorous education campaign for people to understand the need for them to be sanitation conscious. He observed that those working in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector have an onerous responsibility to lead and make the needed impact in their line of duty. Mr. Attiogbe made a pledge saying “we the government agencies will give you the necessary support to deliver”. The Upper West Regional Director of CWSA was however unhappy about the below par performance of some waste manage companies and encouraged them to up their game order to maintain their clients. The Upper West Regional Manager of Zoomlion, Abudu Imoro told the gathering that the company has 666 workers who carry out various waste management services in 16 communities in the Wa Municipality. He said there are 30 communal waste collection containers in the Wa Municipality. Mr. Imoro indicated one benefit of communal waste collection is that, it reduces the number of collection points from where waste has to be evacuated. He identified frequent fires in the communal containers, open defecation at the container sites and haphazard dumping of refuse by some residents as some of the operational challenges of Zoomlion in the Municipality. Mr. Imoro called for a concerted effort to ensure cleaner, greener and healthier environment. The General Manager of Urban Waste Limited, Edmond Kweku Vidjah announced that statistics show that 36.8 per cent of the people in Wa dump waste in the open space whilst 36 per cent of them dump garbage indiscriminately in a phenomenon known as “baby bolas” or “baby refuse dumps”. He continued that 5.9 percent of households burn their waste, 3.2 per cent households bury their waste and 0.8 percent resort to other ways of disposing of waste. Mr. Vidjah pointed out that there are 500 or more “baby bolas” in Wa with the situation getting worst in other Districts in Upper West. The Wa Municipal Environmental. Health Officer, Augustine Batung who gave an overview of sanitation laws enforcement in the Wa Municipality said a key hurdle of the Wa Municipal Assembly is that, it does not have a legal department to provide legal advice and facilitate legal proceedings against sanitation offenders. Inadequate staff and lack of resources were identified as some other challenges of Environmental Health and Sanitation Department of the Assembly.

By Upper West Media

Ghanaian Blogger

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