The Ministry of Works and Housing, in collaboration with the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources and the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD), has launched a social and behavioural change campaign, in pursuit of a clean and safe environment.
To ensure this is achieved, particularly in Accra, the campaign is targeted at the 17 Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts Assemblies (MMDAs) under the MLGDRD as the Odaw River run through these areas.
One major tool to be deployed by these Ministries to effect behavioural change is rewarding good conduct, said Francis Asenso-Boakye, Minister for Works and Housing.
Speaking at the launch of the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) Project at Roman Ridge in Accra last week, the Minister stated that there was going to be an annual contest, and a reward scheme for the cleanest market and lorry park in the capital city of Ghana.
According to him, the annual Cleanest Market and Lorry Park Award Scheme would be akin to the District League Table, where markets and lorry terminals would be ranked according to how clean they keep their surroundings.
He said the cleanest market and lorry terminal would be awarded and the league table would equally be given the needed media publicity, saying, “This is expected to motivate operators, commuters and users of markets and lorry terminals to keep their environments clean, and manage the waste they generate properly.”
Mr. Asenso-Boakye was of the view that social and behavioural change could have a positive impact on the insanity condition of Accra, especially in addressing the perennial flooding situation of the capital city.
The Minister said much of the campaign’s success depended on the MMDAs in Accra, hence, must endeavour to intensify their enforcement activities by strictly applying their sanitation bye-laws and the building regulations in sanctioning violators without fear or favour.
The Minister added that the symbolism of the GARID project was that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was committed to addressing flooding challenges in Ghana, and had since 2017 invested about GH¢450 million in the National Flood Control and Priority Drainage Programme.
In the light of this, he urged the various Assemblies to work in order not to make flood mitigation efforts a failure.
He stressed: “For this reason, the Social and Behaviour Change Campaign will also target the assemblies and other public institutions, and provide support in ensuring that they undertake what has been their mandate ever since we started the Fourth Republican journey.
“Assemblies must ensure that this social behaviour change campaign does not end with the GARID project, and we shall be having conversations in the coming days on how to sustain the effort, even after the project ends.”