The Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA) has been awarded a grant from the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund Phase III to undertake an advocacy action on the establishment of a National Sanitation Authority. As part of the implementation action, a sensitization workshop was organized for its members to disseminate key findings from a research conducted in collaboration with Smile Ghana. The workshop was held at the CSIR-STEPRI on the 6th June 2018.
ESPA as an advocacy body recognizes the need for the establishment of a National Sanitation Authority under the newly created ministry, Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources to coordinate the policies and programs of the ministry. The absence of such authority is one of the reasons for the failure to overcome the waste management challenge facing the country irrespective of the combined efforts of the Ministry of Environment, Science & Technology and Ministry of Local Government & Development to deal with the waste management situation.
A research was conducted as part of the advocacy action to obtain public’s perceptions on the call for the establishment a National Sanitation Authority and also build a much-needed body of knowledge-based on sanitation policies to help with the implementation process. Smile Ghana was the researcher for this study.
The research revealed that a little over half of the respondents said the establishment of the National Sanitation Authority was not necessary whereas the remaining responded in the affirmative when asked “if they believe that Ghana needs a Sanitation Authority”, according to Ibrahim Musah of Smile Ghana.
Some of the respondents, about 55 percent were optimistic that the Authority will succeed provided it was established because the government is determined to solve the country’s sanitation challenges and thus have the right policy focus to tackle sanitation in the country. However, 44 percent of the respondents were pessimistic and cited factors such as the bureaucracy, corruption and cronyism, and the lack of funds will result in the failure of the Authority.
“As part of the recommendations, the research suggests that ESPA should persuade the government to allocate a reasonable number of seats on the governing body of the proposed National Sanitation Authority to them to allow them to make significant inputs and influence on the policy directions of the Authority”, said Ibrahim Musah.
The Executive Secretary of ESPA, Ms. Ama Ofori-Antwi, proposed the formation of a working committee that will support the research department of the Secretariat to constructively critique any policy, act or guideline drafted for the National Sanitation Authority before the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources submits to the cabinet for approval. The working committee has been tasked to identify the benefits of any proposed documentations to the ESPA members and also make the needed contributions.
The working committee is made up of staff from the Zoomlion Research Unit, Tidy-Up, Asadu, J. Stanley Owusu and Mr. Torkoli from Jekora.