Chairman of the Environmental Services Association, Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong has called for institutional support for the association in order to complement government’s efforts at attaining the Millenium Development goal 7 on environmental sustainability.
Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong who is also the Executive Chairman of Zoomlion Ghana Ltd noted that after 13 years of its existence, the environmental service providers association (ESPA) has found it necessary to rebrand itself in order to make it more reflective and responsive of the changing landscape in the delivery of sanitation services and the management of waste in Ghana.
He was speaking at the launch of the re-branding of the Environmental Services Providers Association (ESPA) in Accra.
He observed that high investment in the sanitation and waste management sector over the years has not yielded high impact owing to a number of factors.
He identified uncooperative attitude of the public towards good sanitary practices, combined with low revenues for waste collection as contributors to the low impact being recorded in the sector.
Dr. Agyepong demanded an upward adjustment in revenues from waste collection as well as a structured and active involvement of service providers in the implementation of sanitation and waste management policies.
“Mr. Chairman, it is time for us to bring the environmental service provider into sharp focus in our implementation plans. Otherwise scores of donor support for sanitation and waste management may not yield the desired impact,’’ He stressed.
Dr. Agyepng noted that changes in operational costs do not warrant a corresponding increase in collection rates or processing fees, explaining that fees are enacted in the byelaws of the assemblies and the bylaws have to be modified or amended before any new fees can be charged.
“Because environmental service providers use specialized equipment in their operations, it is imperative that we recover cost,’’ he intimated.
The minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Mr. Akwasi Oppong Fosu assured of government’s commitment to collaborating and supporting the environmental service providers association in their effort to keep the country clean and healthy for all.
He, however bemoaned the attitude of Ghanaians towards proper sanitation and called for behavioural change.
The minister also urged the environmental service providers association to expand distribution and collection of bins and also build the capacity of its members in order to improve upon its services.
The mayor of Accra, Dr. Alfred oko Vanderpuije on his part noted that the cost of waste management is high and advocated private sector participation in waste management in order to reduce the burden on government.
By: Evans Effah/citifmonline.com/Ghana