Introduction: The analysis of public opinion especially in the media space plays an important role in shaping policy direction and programmes of any organization. Public opinion constitutes a summation of public perception about the activities and programmes of an organization. It enables the organization therefore to develop appropriate policy programmes, media releases and actions in dealing with the issues that may be identified.
The case of Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources
Public Opinion generally about the establishment of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources was good. Discussions on the media airwaves which were monitored commended the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo for the establishment of the Ministry in 2017. The same sentiments were shared in the public opinion poll (informal) in 2017. The generality of the public believed the sanitation issues will be dealt with by the Ministry if adequate resources and logistics are provided for the Ministry.
The Activities of the Ministry: The public opinion on the activities and programmes of the Ministry at the end of 2018 was a mixed one. Media programmes and discussions indicated that a section of the population especially in Accra were of the opinion that the Ministry was on track to deliver on its mandate.
However, it was also realized through the media reportage and survey that people were not satisfied with the performance of the Ministry on account of large volumes of refuse not collected daily which are visible along the streets. Secondly, there were illegal dumpsites especially in Accra and some other major cities. The Ministry at the last quarter of 2018 was taken to the cleaners in the media airspace for ‘apparently not performing’.
The Australian High Commissioner to Ghana for instance had to tweet on social media to complain about the heap of rubbish.
Response/reaction: The Ministry organized four (4) major media engagements at the Ministry to brief the media about the programmes and activities.
- Interactive Media Talk Show Programmes: The Ministry also had series of interactive media talk show programmes. The media houses included the following:
- Star Fm
- GBC Radio
- Metro TV
- Peace Fm
- Visit to Landfill Sites: The Ministry organized visits to Landfill sites following the media reportage to address the issues raised by the public.
- Closure of illegal landfill sites at Mallam, Glefe and Adedenkpo
- Clean up exercises were also carried by the Ministry.
Observation: The observation made for the from the public opinion through phone in programmes and other related media activities was that people could not distinguish between the mandate and role of the Ministry and that of the Implementing Agencies such as the ESPA group and the Assemblies.