All though we take it for granted, sanitation is a physical measure that has probably done more to increase human life span than any kind of drug or surgery (Deepak Chopra). The word sanitation also refers to the maintenance of hygienic conditions, through services such as garbage collection and wastewater disposal.
Ghana has become engulfed in filth. Almost every street and gutter in our communities is choked with solid and liquid waste. There is so much negligence and no show of concern when people are disposing off refuse generated at homes and workplaces. Rubbish and waste materials are haphazardly dumped anywhere in the environment, spreading deadly diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea and malaria.
Several measures by successive governments to curb this national menace have not yielded the desired results.
The Government of Ghana, as part of efforts to ensure that cities and towns are rid of filth, has initiated a national sanitation day slated for November 1, every year. This subsequently became a policy that the first Saturday of every month be observed as a National Sanitation Day across the country. The day is a voluntary clean-up day for all Ghanaians.
The President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, also launched a National Sanitation Campaign with a call on all Ghanaians to treat every day as sanitation day. This call is in sync with his earlier campaign promiHowever, most Ghanaians seem not to recognize the importance of sanitation in the country as they show no interest in the clean-up exercises and are, therefore, reluctant to participate. This apathetic attitude, is hampering the government’s intend of making Ghana the cleanest country in Africa.
Ghanaians must show commitment when it comes to sanitation since cleaning our communities will help reduce conditions that breed diseases such as cholera.
Natural disasters such as flood may also be prevented when drains and gutters are cleared for running water to pass freely.
The horrors of June 3, 2015 are enough to remind us on the dangers of living in dirty surroundings. Environmental cleanliness begins with each individual’s desire to be cleaned. If we desire to be close to God, we should desire to dwell in clean soul with a clean body in a clean environment.
We must know that sanitation is individual responsibility and not necessarily the duty of the government, even though there is the need to fight it together.
Individuals must avoid dumping refuse and defecating at open places. But for individuals to avoid dumping refuse and defecating at open places, government must also implement sanitation policies and ensure enforcement of sanitation regulations.
The writer is an intern at the Ghanaian Government Information Services Department.