The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development is considering the possibility of collaborating with the Ghana Prisons Service (GPS) to engage inmates of the various prisons in the country for the National Sanitation Day (NSD) exercises.
The inmates will be assigned to areas to collect ?waste that has been collected from choked drains and gathered along the roads; a situation that has caused a lot of worry to many residents.
They will, however, be paid some basic sustenance fees for the service they would be providing.
The sector minister, Mr Julius Debrah, made this known when he paid a working visit to the Commissioner of GPS, Ms Matilda Baffour-Awuah, in Accra.
Mr Debrah also visited the Ghana Girls Guide Association and the Ghana Scout Association to solicit for their support towards the national exercise.
The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development as part of efforts to deal with the sanitation canker in the country has set aside the first Saturday of every month as NSD.
The initiative is intended to revive communal work in the citizenry to improve environmental sanitation.
Mr Debrah said it was important for each and every individual in the country to recognise the NSD as a shared responsibility rather than a duty of an individual or an organisation.
He, therefore, called for an active participation in the upcoming exercise which would be observed throughout the country but focused on the Northern Region.
For her part, Ms Baffour-Awuah said for some time now, the prisons service had moved away from merely punitive administration of prisoners to a more receptive ?form of correcting the prisoner to be ?a responsible citizen.
That, she said, involved the exposure of inmates to programmes that would make them contribute to national development and become more useful as citizens when they eventually leave the prisons.
Therefore, she said, the proposal from the ministry would help the service to execute some of the mandates that it had failed to implement due to logistical constraints.
For his part, a member of the Prison Service Council, Dr Kwabena Opoku ?Adusei, called for an urgent creation of a health directorate and recruitment of a doctor who would provide the needed service to the prisoners.
He said it was sad that other security forces in the country had their own health directorates, adding that ?all other forces also have their hospital?.
He also discussed with the minister the possibility of registering prisoners for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and also engaging some of the inmates who were artisans in building housing facilities for officers in the country.
We are ready to support
At the Ghana Girls Guide Association, the Commissioner of the association, Mrs Juliana Ofori-Kissi, said as an association for women, it was their duty to embrace the idea whole-heartedly and get involved and do whatever they could to help the NSD to succeed.
Mrs Ofori-Kissi also said the association was going to sell the idea of the Sanitation Day to its members, and encouraged all members to come out in their numbers to support the national exercise.
For his part, the Chief Commissioner of the Ghana Scouts Association, Mr Gregory Manful, said members of the association were ready to put their weight behind the exercise to make it a success.