Youth advised on business side of Sanitation

In the 21st century, lower middle income Ghana is swimming in solid and liquid waste, forcing President John Mahama and his Vice to descend and desilt gutters themselves.

The tonne of filth that is killing people in this country is actually a goldmine that other countries are cashing in on.

Speaking on, JoyNews MultiTV’s flagship program, Clean Communities, Ben Arthur, Executive Secretary of Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation, CONIWAS, insisted that sanitation is a good business that people should invest in.

He cited the water and sanitation program of the World Bank that indicates that for every dollar invested in sanitation it gives you at least 3 to 8 dollars returns.

Mr. Arthur reiterated, “No portfolio on the Ghana stock exchange gives such returns; sanitation is a good business to invest in.”

Even though enough evidence has been adduced about its profitability, regrettably, the product involved and how it is marketed leaves much to be desired. This could probably be the reason why unemployed graduates do not see it to be a prospective business.

But Ben Arthur attributed the reason graduates are avoiding to venture into sanitation business to the training they receive in school. He explained, “the training they receive at the tertiary level do not avail them to such opportunities when they graduate.”

For instance, he suggested, polytechnics can take that up by introducing to students certain technologies such as biogas which is in high demand but very few people have taken it up.

 “Those who have septic tanks on average charge one fifty Ghana Cedis. On a typical Saturday or Sunday one truck makes about 10 rounds and makes GH¢1,500.”

He called on the youth to be innovative in solving the country’s sanitation problem, and also appealed to government and district assemblies to support the youth to set up sanitation businesses. “Polytechnic students can be supported to bring up innovations that can be used in secondary schools to replace the usual toilets” he said.   

Even though the occupation may not be a prestigious one, Ben Arthur noted that the few people who are already engaged in the business take pride in what they do.

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