Planning for improved waste management and sanitation in the Krachi district - Ghana

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As provided for in the Local Government Act, 1993(Act 462), waste management is the responsibility of district assemblies in the country. To a large extent, district assemblies have not been able to perform this function creditably as evident by mounting heaps of refuse in our towns and villages; not to mention the number of people without access to toilet facilities. In the light of the foregoing, the study examines the sanitation situation in the Krachi District. Methods of collection and facilities for disposal of solid waste, liquid waste and waste water in Kete Krachi, Ehiamankyene, Banda, Anyinamae, Dambai and Asukawkaw are also examined. To achieve the above objective, data were assembled from documentary sources, consultations with organisations involved in waste management and sanitation in the district as well as from interviews with a sample of households in the settlements in the district. It is revealed from the study that the main method of solid waste disposal in the district is by open dumping. This method is adopted by 83 percent of households. Refuse is indiscriminate dumped at many unauthorised sites, hence settlements are littered with refuse dumps which attract flies, other insects and rodents. For the disposal of human waste, only 31 percent have access to private toilet facilities. The most common facility is the pit latrine which is used by 60 percent of households on both private and public basis. A further 9 percent have no access to any toilet facility hence defecate in the open. Final disposal of solid and liquid waste is by dumping on farmlands on the outskirts of the settlements. For 81 percent of households, silage is allowed to flow freely unchanneled around the houses. These form puddles of stagnant water, breed disease caring insects like mosquitoes, create stench and in times of heavy rains cause erosion. Storm drains are limited to only parts of Kete Krachi and Banda. Consequently storm water has incised channels and gullies especially in Dambai. Cost of service delivery for liquid and solid waste in the district has been estimated at ¢500.00 per person per month For 54 percent of households, the main source of water is from the Volta Lake, and with the dumping of refuse and indiscriminate defecating around the lake, water related diseases such as bilharzia, guinea worm and diarrhoeal diseases are common. Malaria is also wide spread as a result of the breeding of mosquitoes in puddles of stagnant water. Insanitary conditions have thus had adverse effects on the environment and the health of the people. The population of the Krachi District is gradually increasing, and with the volume of waste generated being directly proportional to the population, there is the need to provide more waste disposal facilities in order not to compound the already existing problems. To address this situation, it is recommended that the District Assembly recognises waste management as an activity and a very important aspect of her responsibility, and accord it the due priority. In this process, waste management must be planned, programmed and budgeted for. Its implementation must be monitored and evaluated by competent personnel is also recommended that bye-laws an environmental sanitation be enacted and enforced by the District Assembly. To meet the financial obligations, it is suggested that the District Assembly improves upon its revenue collection system so as to derive more sources internally, introduce user charges on waste disposal facilities and also seek assistance from the Volta River Authority which was responsible for the resettlement of communities in the district. Assistance could also be sought from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) which is currently implementing water and sanitation programmes in the Volta Region. Recommendations for handling of wastes in both the short and long term have also been discussed. Alternatively, the District Assembly could rather be the promoter of waste management services rather the provider, by privatising waste management. The study concludes on the note that waste and sanitation problems are not only limited to 1 areas. There is an emergence of this in settlements which calls for prompt action combined efforts of the community, the District other external organisations.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Development Planning and Management, 1995