Health experts and researchers have concluded that poor sanitation practices pollute the environment and exact unwarranted toll on health, productivity and human life, hence the increasing global call for the maintenance of acceptable sanitation standards in all communities.
Although maintaining proper sanitation standards in any community is a function of several factors, the public participation dimension is one of the most critical.
While poor environmental sanitation is an important development issue and always has negative impact on society, improved sanitation has multiple socio-economic benefits, including direct economic benefits of avoiding illnesses and indirect economic benefits such as a decrease in work days or hours lost to illness
Additionally, health experts argue that poor sanitation is a major factor in several neglected tropical diseases, including intestinal worms, schistosomiasis and trachoma.
Although efforts are being made to improve sanitation in most countries in the world, over two billion people of the world's population, according to the World Health Organisation, still lack access to improved sanitation.
The global acknowledgement of the importance of water and sanitation led to the inclusion of sanitation in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Thus, Goal 6 of the SDGs seeks to improve access to water and sanitation for all by the year 2030.
This calls for effective sanitation management approaches in every country, but more so in our parts of the world where the sanitation picture is worse and remains poorly resourced and understood, resulting in limited progress
Indeed, good sanitation is basic human rights yet it remains elusive to many and has become one of the country's major public health challenges.
The glaring water, sanitation and hygiene gaps triggered the Universal Plastic Products and Recycling (UPPR) Ghana Limited, Ecobank Ghana Limited and Environment Services Providers Association (ESPA) to launch the "One Million Waste Bin Project" initiative yesterday in Accra, to supply one million litter bins nationwide.
The initiative seeks to end the indiscriminate littering of waste within communities, households and businesses in all cities across the country.
Launching it, a Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, Michael Yaw Gyato said the absence of waste bins at vantage points and households within the communities promoted indiscriminate littering and expressed the hope that the intervention would address the situation and keep the environment clean.
"The absence of waste bins in various households and workplace was the major reason for indiscriminate littering in communities posing a threat to the lives of the citizenry in the country, hence embarking on the project a sure way to negate the situation." he said
Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong, President of ESPA, added that the project would complement the existing sanitation initiatives by Metropolitans, Municipals and District Assemblies and would create 1,000 direct and indirect jobs in Ghana.
The Ghanaian Times commends the three institutions for the initiative and urges the public to support them by patronising the bins.