Former President John Mahama has downplayed the relevance of the Sanitation Ministry created by the Akufo-Addo-led government, insisting he will scrap that ministry because it is “useless”.
According to him, despite having a ministry dedicated to sanitation, Ghana’s capital Accra remains dirty.
“Accra has become the dirties city I think in the whole of West Africa,” he said in a live video encounter with Ghanaians on Monday, stressing that having travelled to Abidjan in Ivory Coast and Abuja in Nigeria, these places “look cleaner than Accra”.
The Sanitation and Water Resources Ministry was created in January 2017 to provide the needed support to the sanitation and water sectors across the country.
President Akufo-Addo who established the ministry was hopeful Accra would become the cleanest city in West Africa by the end of 2020.
But the former president assessed, “If the president had taken it as one of his promises then he has failed very badly.
“Especially for the fact that you have a sanitation minister, you cannot understand what the sanitation minister is doing.”
The ministry has since 2017 been managed by two sector ministers – Joseph Kofi Adda and Cecilia Abena Dapaah.
But John Mahama said he will realign the ministry if he forms the next government.
“We will move Sanitation ministry back to Local Government, I think it is one of the most useless ministries.
“It hasn’t proven itself, it has not achieved anything in the last three years so we will move it back to the Local Government Ministry. We will put a deputy minister there who we will empower to make sure that the district assemblies are doing the right thing, and that they are surcharging people who keep their compound dirty or who do not keep their surroundings clean.”
Mr. Mahama recalled introducing a National Sanitation Day campaign during his first term in office, but said the exercise was sabotaged by “unbridled opposition” by his political opponent.
He however urged Ghanaians who have the mindset that once they pay tax, it was another person’s responsibility to clean the dirt the create to change.
He promised the day the Akufo-Addo government will reintroduce the cleanup exercise “I will come out and join and clean”, but was quick to add that people do need to wait to be told to clean their environment before they do so.