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Group commends government for introducing ‘borla tax’

The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Health Sector Environmental Health Practitioners Association–Ghana (HeSEHPAG) congratulates the Government for announcing the introduction of the proposed Sanitation and Pollution Levy (SPL) to help address the issues of Sanitation in the Country.

The Caretaker Minister of Finance, reading the 2021 Budget Statement in Parliament on Friday 12th March 2021 said that a Sanitation and Pollution Levy (SPL) of 10 pesewas will be introduced and incorporated into the proposed fuel levy under the Energy Sector Levies Act (ESLA).

According to Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, “With this new tax, Government will embark on a number of projects including the re-engineering of landfill sites at Kpone and Oti, the construction of waste recycling and compost plants across the country and the construction of more sanitation facilities to accelerate the elimination of open defecation”.

Furthermore, he said that “Other projects are the construction of medical waste treatment facilities to prevent the generation of infectious diseases especially under the Coronavirus Treatment Programme, support fumigation of public spaces, schools, health centres, and markets, improve urban air quality and combat air pollution and the construction of final treatment and disposal sites for solid and liquid waste”.

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In addition, Mr. Kyei Mensah indicated that. “These are all very critical investments that have to be made for the benefit and dignity of all Ghanaians. These will ensure sustainable sanitation management, improve the quality of life and reduce the number of deaths and diseases from poor sanitation,”

In light of this, the NEC is therefore Congratulating the Government for taking this bold step to holistically tackle the generational issue of poor Environmental Health and Sanitation that has been facing Ghana since time immemorial. Categorically, the NEC is expressing our deep appreciation and support for the proposed and yet to be introduced Sanitation and Pollution Levy (SPL) by the Government which is aimed to help provide the requisite resources to address the sanitation challenges, as well as fund the planned activities of Government to ensure the country is cleaned, to accelerate the achievement of quality of lives and Health for All Goal in Ghana.

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However, the NEC is kindly entreating the Government to appropriately use the funds accrued from the Sanitation and Pollution Levy (SPL) for its intended purposes and should not be channeled into other projects and programs that are absolutely not related to the Environmental Health and Sanitation Sector.

On a related development and with all urgency, the NEC is calling on the Government to allocate a significant and appreciable percentage of the funds from the Sanitation and Pollution Levy (SPL) to immediately support the Establishment of a National Environmental Health and Sanitation Research Centre (NEHSRC) under Ministry of Health (MOH) in Ghana Post COVID-19 Era.

The NEC strongly believes and is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the NEHSRC will help MOH and its Agencies, Environmental Health Professionals/Practitioners (EHPs), and other interested Actors in the Environmental Health and Sanitation and Public Health Sectors to conduct scientific research and projects to determine the impact of the COVID-19 on Human Health, Environment, Occupational Health, Food Hygiene and Safety, Port Health Services and other specialized areas of the Environmental Health and Sanitation Sector that are of much importance and concern during this COVD-19 era.

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Moreover, the NEHSRC among its duties will carry out a comprehensive assessment of various categories and classification of wastes in Ghana that has been generated during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the determinants of COVID-19 spread, the adherence and compliance of the prescribed Environmental Health and Hygiene measures and protocols by community members, where and who needs handwashing and sanitary facilities to ensure effective practicing of handwashing could be discovered to help curtail the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated health and environmental implications.

Ms. Doreen Danso (National President, 0244215670)

Ms. Indatu Muniru Danjuma (General Secretary, 0244881061)

Mr. Samuel Yaw Agyemang-Badu (National Vice President, 0244371065)

Mr. Ebenezer Nsiah (National P.R.O, 0540771860)