Ing. Dr. Ato Arthur, Head of the Local Government Service (LGS) has called on Local Assemblies to provide the needed support to enable the Environmental Health Service pursue its prosecutorial mandate.
He said a strong environmental prosecution regime was needed to save the nation from the fallouts of poor sanitation, and that officers and prosecutors must operate without interference.
Ing. Dr. Arthur made the call when he opened a four-day training workshop in Ho organised by the LGS for Environmental Health Prosecutors and Officers from the Volta, Eastern, and Oti Regions.
He noted how interference from political, traditional, and other forces weakened the prosecutorial effectiveness and worsened environmental sanitation.
The Local Government Head asked that sanitation bye-laws were well utilised, and called for collaboration with relevant stakeholders towards building a sanitised nation.
“There is no doubt about the fact that every Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembly have bye-laws that regulate the activities of all the districts. Once these bye-laws are approved by the General Assembly and gazetted, they should as well be enforced.
“It is my hope that the Assemblies will empower the Environmental Health Prosecutors and Officers to deliver that mandate without fear or favour. Often times, officers have been ordered to stop actions initiated to sanction people who have acted contrary to what is desirable in respect of environmental bye-laws,” he said.
Ing. Dr Arthur said the over-politicisation of policies continued to affect national progress and appealed to all to “embrace what will move Ghana forward in its developmental agenda.”
He further called for collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency towards checking industrial pollution, and said the LGS would seek collaboration with key stakeholders to “constantly” equip them with new knowledge and requisite resources.
Mr. Prosper Afenyo, Acting Director of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council said Environmental Health Prosecutors played a key role in national progress as they helped rake in more internally generated funds, and must consider the training seriously as it helped build capacity to deliver.
The about 80 participants would have their knowledge of the legal, policy, and regulatory framework on environmental health and sanitation delivery enriched.
They will also be taken through the trial process, and an action plan for strengthening enforcement management in the MMDAs would be advanced at the end of the workshop.