Ghana’s sanitation situation requires what expects describe as a hands on approach to deal with the growing challenge.
It is therefore only fair that the fight against poor sanitation in the country is done with a human face attached to the campaign, as according to researchers, the problem is has more to do with peoples attitude.
The MMG for sanitation is a one of a kind beauty pageant which seeks to crown a beauty queen who by virtue of her talent, skill, commitment, hard work and patriotism will become the campaign ambassador who’s work among others things educate and sensitize the general public on the economic, social and psychological woes of filth in the society.
All over the world, wars are fought with weapons, but the one question that remains unanswered is what weapons could be used to fight this deadly canker called filth? This question is what the Miss Metro Foundation is seeking to achieve with the MMG Project, using beauty, intellect, skill, nationalism and love as major weapons to win the fight against insanitary conditions in the country, targeting one community at a time.
Ghana has achieved many success stories regarding the Sustainable Development Goals, from access to education to access to health and employment. Unfortunately same cannot be said of the SGD 6 which clearly stipulates that all UN member nations must ensure access to clean drinking water and good sanitation. Research suggest that Ghana spends nearly $290 million yearly on poor sanitation. In a nation where resources are scares and successive governments struggle to distribute fairly to all sectors of the nation, it cannot afford to continuously spend over 1.2 percent of her GDP on a problem that could easily be avoided if people decide to change their attitude and mentality towards the environment.
Must of the country’s tourist sites and beautiful beaches have now assumed the status dump sites and places of convenience for those who do not have access to decent toilet facilities, making open defecation rife in rural and some urban areas. This according to the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, calls for more radical approach. Hon. Cecilia Dapaah during her interactions with the media at the Ministry of Information’s Meet the Press series made an unusual appeal to the young women, asking them to not marry men who do not have toilets in their homes.
““We know what sanitation gives to us, sanitation gives all of us dignity, especially we the women, and so, I entreat all young ladies: if you’re marrying and the man doesn’t have a toilet in the home, please don’t agree.”
This plea might seem somewhat funny and out of place but the harsh reality of open defecation and mounting filth in the society calls for radical attempts, not only by not agreeing to marry into homes without toilet facilities but also using the woman’s God given beauty, brains and skills as home makers to ensure that the age old phenomenon that is gradually eroding the beauty of some major cities like Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, Tamale in the Northern Region, Sekondi-Takoradi in the Western Region, Accra in the Greater Accra Region just to name a few.
The 2019 edition of the Miss Metro Ghana pageant has raised the standards of the first and second editions even higher, with contestants having to go through public voting system based on their project work in the various metro cities as well as securing a nationwide appeal through their educative and sensitization programmes.
In all eighteen (18) girls were selected during audition period, three (3) ladies representing all six Metropolitan cities in the country. Twelve (12) will make it to the grand finale to battle it out for the ultimate price of becoming the 2019 Miss Metro Ghana Queen.
Speaking in an interview with NewsGhana during the auditions, some of the contestants shared their views on the growing problem saying, the Miss Metro Ghana for Sanitation project is a good platform which serves as an eye opener to the many dangers associated with filth and also offers the opportunity for contestants to interact with their mayors and other community leaders in professing alternative ways to deal with the problem.
CEO of the Miss Metro Foundation, Mr. Denis Kosi Glah also stressed that the Miss Metro Pageant isn’t only a beauty pageant like those known to Ghanaians but one that instills the habit of cleanliness, patriotism and a response to national call.
In the sense that many of the selected contestants identifies with the problem, they’ve seen the end results and are yearning for an opportunity to make things better for themselves and their communities, most importantly being the voice of the many innocent children who have lost their lives to preventable diseases related to filth.
The grand finale of the Miss Metro Ghana for Sanitation is expected to come off later in the year, as all the contestants beaming with high hopes of wearing the enviable crown and following in the steps of previous queens such as Serwaa and Lucky who recently joined other young ambassadors from around the world to participate in a 2019 Ford Foundation Conference in the United States of America due to her hard work and success story of her “End Open Defecation” project in the Northern Region.
Organizers are therefore calling on co-operate Ghana, indigenous businesses as well as stakeholders to come on board to make this noble course a worthy one as it is believed that, businesses thrive in cleaner environments.