By Cecil Mensah
The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Julius DeBrah, has reiterated that his outfit would not hesitate in recommending the sack of Municipal Chief Executives (MCEs), District Chief Executives (DCEs), who are not up to speed with their office, after being appointed.
According to him, the Ministry will not hesitate to recommend the sack of such appointees, who exhibit abysmal performance in office.
The Minister said, the Ministry would not shield any lazy MCEs or DCEs, who do not match their office in terms of delivering, in accordance with the vision and agenda of the President, John Dramani Mahama.
Speaking on the four point strategic direction of the Ministry to drive the performance of the Ministry.
He, as part of the strategy, the Ministry will advocate the need for Ghanaians to separate their waste to enable the waste management companies transform waste to power.
According to him, bins for the separation of waste according to their degradability will soon be distributed by the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
He said, bins would be branded in the following colours: red, yellow and green, indicating that fresh garbage for the green bin, red for solid garbage and yellow for polythene and paper garbage.
He hinted that the Ministry would kick start the distribution of the bins for the separation of waste with the various media houses in the country to enable them champion the campaign for the separation of waste.
According to him, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, will query Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executive (MMDCE), who fails to furnish the Ministry with evidence of action taken against sanitation offenders within the next two months.
He announced that the Ministry is embarking on an educational programme starting next week to create public awareness to ensure sanitation laws are enforced.
Mr Debrah, indicated that government’s efforts would not be enough until people change their attitude towards sanitation.
Julius Debrah, outlined the short and medium term agenda of the Ministry at a press briefing held as part of a media forum at Koforidua.
The agenda is based on four strategic areas including, Environmental Sanitation; Decentralisation and Empowerment of Assemblies; Small and Micro Enterprise Development; and Social Housing.
Speaking in detail, the Minister said “The agenda is code named “Our Life Changers” because a proper implementation of the four key areas identified will lead to a positive change in the lives of the people economically and socially. He added, “Local Assemblies need to be empowered to act for further development because when we do so the people will be financially responsible”.
On Environmental Sanitation, the Minister said the Ministry’s short term goals are to increase public awareness creation for attitudinal change; separation and removal of heaps of garbage; fumigation of public places; and provision of toilets.
In the long term, the Ministry will pursue externally funded projects such as: World Bank GAMA for the covering of open drains; US Exim Bank Conti for sanitation and dredging the Korle Lagoon; Netherlands WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) Programme to provide 3 new landfill sites and clean water; and France SAWISTRA (Sanitation and Water in Small Towns and Rural Areas) which stalled years back. Other long term goals include waste to energy projects and more which will be implemented through public private partnerships.
In the short term, under the Decentralisation and Empowerment of Assemblies agenda, the Ministry will complete the preparatory process for the street naming exercise by September. It will also pursue Local Economic Development programme to assess economic need and provide competitive advantage business programme to local districts. In the long term, the Ministry will intensify public private partnership financing of projects, and seek to build local capacity while advocating efficient and strong leadership.
Under Small and Micro Enterprise Development, Hon. Debrah outlined the Ministry’s agenda regarding economic activities such as toilet and water services, agriculture and horticulture, agro processing and more. He said people will be enabled to own and provide services and jobs to the local community. Key to the agenda is the recently announced “Operation Own Your Business” programme which the Ministry is seeking to partner local financial institutions and assemblies to provide funding and capacity to small and micro businesses.
The fourth strategic agenda, Social Housing, features the Tamale model housing programme which is enabling people to use sandcrete to build their homes by providing access to funding from local institutions. According to the Minister, if successful, the objective of the programme in the long term is to replicate it in other MMDAs.
At the interactive event held for media to engage freely with the Ministry, Hon. Debrah asked for cooperation and support from the media and general public in order to see through the agenda.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Antwi Bosiako Sekyere, congratulated the Local Government and Rural Development Ministry for focusing on the four areas which he said would promote the needed development.
He said “With sanitation, the removal of garbage is lagging production and this is creating embarrassment. The media need to support the efforts to deal with this challenge by creating attitudinal change”.
Deputy Ministers for Local Government and Rural Development, Mr. Nii Lantey Vanderpujie and Member of Parliament (MP) for Odododiodiooo Constituency and Emmanuel Agyekum, as well as the Chief Director of the ministry, Mr. Don Dieu were present at the forum .