PROMOTE SANITATION EDUCATION – ESPA urges radio stations
By Naa Lamiley Bentil , Koforidua
The Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA) has urged radio stations to devote a portion of their airtime to the discussions of environmental sanitation to deepen awareness about the issue and discourage the indiscriminate littering and dumping of refuse.
Some residents, particularly in Accra and other regional capitals according to the Executive Secretary to the association, Ms Ama Ofori Antwi continued to litter and dump refuse at unapproved areas, including drains.
She said even though some people did this deliberately, aware of the dangers their actions posed to themselves and resident, intensive public education could help create the needed awareness to reduce the practice to keep the environment and drains clean.
Ms Ofori-Antwi in a statement cautioned Ghanaian’s against poor environmental sanitation practices, stressing that it affected all aspects of the socio-economic development. She added as a major mouthpiece of the people, radio stations needed to play a more active role in promoting sound sanitation practices.
Ghana’s radio landscape
“Ghana has a vibrant media that plays a key role in political discourse, national identity, and popular culture. Though some excesses have been reported in the media, it is generally recognised and accepted that the media is an indispensable development partner and has played a key role in shaping Ghana’s course of development,” she stated.
Ms Ofori-Antwi further explained that ESPA was particularly interested in the radio education because they broadcast to a sizable number of Ghanaians from different backgrounds. Aside that, radio is also accessible to many diverse language are used.
“The sheer number of radio stations in the country make it an essential medium in promoting environmental sanitation”.
Data from the National Communications Authority (NCA) indicated that, as of the first quarter of 2014, there were 342 authorised FM radio stations in Ghana, of which 285 are currently operational. The 342 authorised stations are made up of 36 public radio stations, 59 community radio stations, 13 Campus radio stations and 234 commercial radio stations.
A regional distribution of radio stations in Ghana indicates that the western region tops with 53 stations, Greater Accra and the Ashanti region with 47 each, Brong Ahafo has 45; eastern region 29; northern region 31; central region 27; Volta region, 35,Upper East 13, Upper West 15.
“If all these radio station allocated only 30 minutes of their airtime a week to discuss issues of sanitation, we will be having 8,550 minutes (142.5 hours) of national discussion on sanitation collectively on a weekly basis. We all, rich or poor, literate or non-literate, adult or child, woman or man contribute to the sanitation situation in the communities we live and should talk about it,” Ms Ofori-Antwi stated.
She said there was the need for all and sundry to talk about environmental sanitation, the good, the bad and the ugly, so that people would begin to appreciate the issues which affects the core of their existence.