The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has tabled a proposal for a strong partnership with the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources and other stakeholders to wage a relentless war on filth across the country.
Dubbed Media Action for Improved Sanitation, Behavioural Change and Compliance, the initiative seeks to approach the fight against filth from the law enforcement, compliance and behavioural change perspectives.
Accordingly, the GJA is seeking to raise GH¢10 million from businesses and organisations to build the capacity of editors, reporters and other media practitioners on sanitation reporting.
“We intend to help tackle a national challenge so we will knock at the doors of all organisations and people who matter, including the World Bank, UNICEF and business owners to raise the needed resources to deal with the problem,” the GJA President, Mr Roland Affail Monney, said in Accra yesterday.
He said the approach would also include the launch of television, radio and online programmes dedicated to sanitation campaigns to change attitudes.
In furtherance of the initiative, the executive of the GJA on Tuesday paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR), Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, to discuss the proposal and the way forward.
The GJA team, which was led by Mr Monney, included the Vice-President of the association, Mrs Linda Asante-Agyei, and the General Secretary, Mr Kofi Yeboah.
During the meeting, Mr Monney explained that the proposal that had been tabled by the association was a clarion call on all media houses and journalists to rise up and join other stakeholders to rid the country of filth.
The media has a very good track record of rallying support to tackle critical national development challenges, he said, and recalled the fight against illegal mining, popularly called galamsey, as well as the campaign for the passage of the Right to Information (RTI) Bill, as examples in that direction.
“We intend to urge the media to apply solution-based journalism, create awareness, name and shame people who perpetrate filth because naming and shaming is more punitive,” he contended.
He added that the move by the GJA was in line with the call by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on people to rise up and help make Accra the cleanest city in Africa.
Sanitation league table
Ms Dapaah described the initiative by the GJA to help tackle the sanitation challenge as a worthy move and called on other stakeholders to join the fight to win the war against filth.
She said the ministry was at the point of rolling out an initiative to rank all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) as well as metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) on a sanitation league table.
“Our officials will visit the premises of MDAs and MMDAs with a checklist that will look out for toilets, urinals, the state of the premises, among other things, so that we will be able to determine which organisation is doing better and which one will be shamed so that they will up their game,” she said.