The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Tuesday, engaged in a heated debate on what could be described as the State of the Nation Sanitation.
Sanitation appears to be one of the biggest problems in the country governments have had to deal with and politicians will use the least opportunity to argue which party is doing better than the other, but the reality of the situation is most often different on the ground.
However, the former NDC Deputy Communications officer, Fred Agbenyo and the Member of Parliament for the Ledzokuku Constituency and Board Chairman of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Bernard Oko-Boye, though different in posturing and perspective on TV3’s New Day, seemed to have come to a consensus that sanitation is a major issue that needs immediate attention.
The President, Nana Akufo-Addo, in his recent State of the Nation Address reiterated his promise to make Accra the cleanest city by the end of his tenure, a statement which did not specify whether he meant by the end of 2020 or 2024.
Even though the NPP government has created a dedicated ministry for Sanitation and its related affairs, critics say there is next to nothing to show for the existence of that ministry, arguing the sanitation problem in the country is not getting any better.
But Dr. Oko-Boye argues the NPP is committed to improving the sanitation problem, referring to the words of the President.
He however admits the reality on the ground renders the statistics quoted by the president “less weightier”.
“I believe in the statistics of the President but there is still a lot of work to be done”, he said on TV3’s New Day. He said a lot of the problem could be blamed on the heads of the assemblies, who he said are clueless about the sanitation problems within their jurisdiction.
The MP is hopeful the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, when implemented will ensure a full responsibility of all issues including sanitation
Mr. Agbenyo, on the other hand said the comments of the President were not a true reflection of the state of Sanitation in the country.
“Clearly, the president is not in touch with the reality on the ground”, Fred said, making reference to a media report which captured a heap of filth in front of the Jubilee House vis-à-vis the President’s declaration to make Ghana clean.
He insists the President calls the sector minister to answer questions on the state of sanitation in the country rather than reiterating promises. He also admits by-laws are not being implemented.