The sanitation and pollution levy of 10Gp per litre on petroleum products has accrued more than GH¢196.5 million as of the end of May this year, 15 months into its introduction.
The Provost of the College of Education at the University of Ghana, Professor Martin Oteng-Ababio, said notwithstanding the inflow, there was a bleak future for the country’s sanitation sector due to policy failures over the years.
For instance, he observed that although the government introduced 10% Environmental Excise Tax (EET) on plastic manufacturers earlier in 2011 to mobilise funds to curb the plastic menace, there was no reliable information on how much had accrued to the fund and how it had been utilised to tackle the plastic menace.
The sanitation levy is targeted at raising funds for investment in sanitation sector infrastructure.
Prof Oteng-Ababio made the observations during an inaugural lecture at the University of Ghana, Legon, dubbed: “Double standards, single purpose: deconstructing the fence wall for sustainable municipal waste management”.
Tracing the historical path of Ghana’s waste management systems from the colonial era till date while providing critical review of policy options, Prof Oteng-Ababio said although there were over 136 waste policies in the country, those policies were largely “inappropriate, misplaced, irrelevant and harmful,” stressing that most of them were politically skewed.
“I consult for most of the big companies in the sanitation and waste management space. Anytime there is a change in government, they shiver because if you invest in waste management equipment and there are political issues, you are in trouble,” he said.
He also examined how waste, in its diverse forms, had been defined, conceptualised, produced and managed in contemporary urban environments and across different cultural practices.
The lecture was anchored on the position that managing municipal waste was inextricably linked to the rate of urban growth, the level of development, climate change dynamics and the prospect of promoting human-centred and environmentally friendlier management futures.