The
Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA) and the Coalition of
NGO’s in Water and Sanitation (CONIWAS) have urged the government to
immediately address the low fees paid to service providers managing
solid waste.

Ghana charges an average cost of less than $10 in managing a tonne of municipal solid waste.

This charge is comparatively lower than the World Bank recommended fee of $30 for managing a tonne of waste.

The
two organisations in a joint press statement to announce the coming
together of ESPA and CONIWAS as one mouthpiece to ensure pro-poor
environmental service delivery for all citizens demanded of government
to address this cost deficit for sustainable waste management.

The
Vice President of CONIWAS, Mr. Atta Arhin who delivered the press
statement at the 30th Mole WASH Conference in Ho in the Volta region
indicated that this low financial allocation to the Water and Sanitation
Sector is abysmally low and cannot sustain the sector.

“Investment
in environmental sanitation has been abysmally low. Budgetary
allocation to the Ministry has declined from GHS255 million in 2017
(which was woefully inadequate) to GHS 246 million 2019,” he noted.

He
said the inadequate financing of solid waste management coupled with
the high cost of operations and unrealistic tariffs further constrain
the capacity of service providers to deliver the services effectively,
especially to the poor.

Mr. Arhin said despite the low financial allocations, delays in payments to service providers by the government, high taxes on imported equipment and the increasing cost of fuel is driving many service providers out of business.

He
urged the government to support existing waste treatment facilities
with financial incentives including, management fees, signing off-takers
agreement and provide subsidies to sustainably manage these
infrastructures.

The
Mole Conference, which has been held for the past 30 years, brings
together stakeholders in the water and sanitation sector to deliberate
on Ghana’s challenges and proffer suggestions that help shape policy.

This year’s conference was under the theme “30 years of Multi-Stakeholder WASH Dialogue: Reflections and Prospects”.



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