Cabinet has given approval for the engineering and construction of modern fit-for-purpose landfill sites in Accra and Kumasi, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, has announced.
It forms part of measures to improve sanitation in the two major cities, the minister told journalists at a media briefing in Accra.
She added that the ministry was going through the procurement processes to engage companies to undertake the project to create more room for dumping of refuse in the cities.
"Cabinet has given the green light for the ministry to engage through the procurement processes to get companies which can help us engineer our land fill sites to create more room for us to dump our waste and also plan ahead so that in the near future create waste and get energy from our waste," she emphasised.
Ms Dapaah said even though the country over the years had invested in four engineered landfill facilities, all four had been badly managed and reduced to mere dump-sites not fit for the purpose.
She said in addition to the two that had received cabinet approval, the ministry under the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development Project (GARID) would construct a sanitary landfill facility, two transfer stations and cap two major dump-sites at Abokobi and Agbogbloshie at Old Fadama.
"The ministry is utilising an amount of USD 43million to finance these activities under the solid waste component of the GARID Project," she explained.
Furthermore, she said intensive negotiations were currently ongoing to re-engineer the Kpone Landfill in Accra and Oti Landfill in Kumasi, stressing that "Similar interventions have been earmarked for Sekondi-Takoradi and Tamale subsequently."
Ms Dapaah noted that even though the sanitation situation in the country had generally seen improvement across the board, there was more room to better the situation in line with the President's vision of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa.
She said the 'One-Household, One-Bin and One-Business, One-Bin" policy initiative within the municipalities would make waste management much easier.
Ms Dapaah said there was the need to ensure that drains and gutters were regularly cleaned, that street sweepers promptly collect refuse as they sweep and gather, and not leave heaps of refuse along streets to be collected later if the cities were to be kept clean.
She said the ministry had initiated the process of putting together a comprehensive consolidated National Sanitation laws which would serve as the primary reference document for the preparation of local bye-laws as well as enhancing successful prosecution of sanitation offenders.
Touching on the mandate of the ministry, she explained that most people did not have an understanding of their work, stressing that "the mandate of the ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources is to formulate and coordinate policies for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) sector."
She said in addition, it was to undertake monitoring and evaluation which were all aimed to maintaining good health and the well-being of all Ghanaians.