The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources is to rebrand the scope of work of the Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) popularly known as “Samasama” to expande Sanitary Inspection and Compliance Enforcement (ESICOME).
Under the ESICOME the EHOs are to first identify a nuisance, educate households on the services being rendered by their respective assemblies in the abatement of nuisance and to ensure compliance of acceptable behaviour.
“After a household or the landlord failed to abate the nuisance he or she would be served with summons as part of the enforcement to comply with the assemblies’ bye-laws.”
Mr Kweku Quansah, the Chief Environmental Health Technologist at the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development made this known to the Ghana News Agency at a two-day technical workshop for health officers, technologists and analysts of the 11 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the Greater Accra Region at Tutu in the Akuapem South District of the Eastern Region.
It was on the Review of Environmental Health Prosecution Manual and MMDAs Model Bye-laws and was sponsored by the World Bank as part of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area-Sanitation and Water Project (GAMA-SWP).
Mr Quansah told the participants that the workshop was to strengthen the capacity of the EHOs to review their outmoded bye-laws and prosecution manuals to bring their penalties to conform with modern day realities in their jurisdictions.
“This is to curb the environmental and insanitary problems that have engulfed the MMDAs in the country.”
He urged the officers to look out for a more appropriate way of data management and resist political interference in their work through phone calls by politicians.
“We need MMDAs laws to compliment the national laws to ensure that the public infrastructure and services are well catered for to strengthen regulations and enforcement standards to change behaviours,” he said.
Mr Samuel Akwei Allotey of the Environmental Health Directorate of the Ministry of Local Government said the environmental sanitation challenges were serious and called for pragmatic steps to deal with them.
Major challenges which were identified by participants were; political interference , lack of logistics and inadequate capacity-building and outmoded bye-laws.