HOW RELEVANT IS NATIONAL SANITATION DAY?

Without doubt, sanitation is very important and key to national development.

Adequate sanitation and hygiene are all essential ingredients to ensure good human health.

Unfortunately, the country has been struggling to cope with the sanitation problem for sometime now.

The situation has become worse with population growth, rapid urbanisation and increased economic activities.

The district assemblies whose responsibilities include sanitation, have adopted several measures and implemented policies to improve sanitation, but the situation remains insurmountable.

In order to give it the needed attention, the government launched the National Sanitation Day that falls on the first Saturday of a new month throughout the country.

The day is marked with  general clean-up exercises that require the participation of residents.

It began initially in the first few months with emphoria with high participation by residents.

The sanitation situation appeared then to be improving, but few months later, the public began to show apathy towards the exercise.

As a result, the sanitation situation appears to be worsening, forcing the Accra Metropolitan authorities to raise concerns about the development.

The assembly raised concerns following the poor participation by residents in last Saturday’s clean-up exercise in Accra.

The Times correspondents who reported on the exercise described how some residents stood unconcerned as others cleaned up the surroundings.

According to the correspondents , those who refused to participate in the exercise outnumbered those who cleaned up the environment, a situation that forced the Director of Waste Management of the AMA, Mr. Anthony Mensah, to announce the prosecution of those who show apathy towards the national clean-up exercise.

The Times is concerned that many more people are joining the ranks of those who are not participating in the clean-up exercise that is supposed to solve the sanitation nightmare of the country.

The sanitation challenge of the country is growing worse everyday and it does not have to take the city authorities to force residents to clean their own environment.

Heaps of garbage have engulfed communities, posing health hazards to the people, yet residents refuse to support the city authorities to clean up.

That is unfortunate.  We must all contribute to clean up the environment because each of us contributed to the mess in the first place.

Elsewhere around the world, there are effective structures and systems that ensure that sanitation is prioritised and such issues are dealt with effectively.

Unfortunately, we do not have effective systems and have to depend on adhoc measures to deal with the situation.

The current arrangement where we clean up once in a month and allow rubbish to pile up before we clear it would not let the problem go away.

We must come out with more effective ways of keeping the environment clean all the time so that  there would be no need for a special day to clean the environment.

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