The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources is urging municipal assemblies to impose surcharges on waste collectors who have been contracted but fail to promptly collect or delay in collecting piles of refuse in various communities.
The sector minister, Freda Prempeh, said this when she inspected areas along the Odaw River and Nima Maamobi following the recent rains.
Expressing her disappointment with the dire state of poor sanitation, Prempeh emphasized that imposing surcharges on these waste collectors was a necessary measure to compel them to fulfil their obligations and ensure timely waste collection.
“We cannot always sit back for government to look for money to evacuate refuse, to drill drains, to dredge drains, to desilt gutters, we have to change our attitude. This refuse you see behind me is under the purview of the assembly. They have signed contracts with private service providers, and they are supposed to ensure that private service providers clear and collect the garbage.”
“We should not sit down as an assembly and take excuses from the service providers that my car has broken down and all that. There should be a provision in the by-law to surcharge them. If they don’t pick up the refuse on time, they should be surcharged. So as an assembly, we will collaborate with you but all these refuse is under the purview of the assemblies, and they are supposed to ensure that it is cleared by the private service providers,” she said.
Ms Prempeh also expressed her willingness to engage in discussions regarding the establishment of specialized environmental courts aimed at enhancing the efficiency of prosecuting sanitation-related offenses.
This is in response to mounting calls stressing the significance of these specialized courts in expediting sanitation cases, which frequently encounter delays when brought before district courts.
“I don’t think it is just about delayance at the court… The advocacy is still on, but I believe together as a ministry, the Regional Coordinating Council and the assemblies, we should be able to put our heads together and ensure that the right thing is done. I believe that if we enforce our by-laws we will not be taking people to the sanitation courts. So we have to start from the basis, from where the problem is coming from and that is the gap. And once we’ve been able to find the problem we should be able to solve it,” she noted.