The Greater Accra Regional Minister-designate, Ishmael Ashitey, has told Parliament’s Appointments Committee that “Accra is very dirty” and that his topmost priority will be to rid the capital city of filth if recommended for approval.
This, he said, was the cause of the perennial flooding in the city anytime there was a downpour since the gutters become chocked with filth.
Apart from the flooding, Mr. Ashitey said it also posed lots of health hazards to residents.
“Accra is very dirty. Mr. Chairman, the biggest vision I have is to tackle this problem head-on,” he said at his vetting in Accra on Tuesday.
To him, this was not befitting of a national capital in the West Africa sub region and the continent at large.
According to Mr. Ashitey, the city generates about 3000 tonnes of waste daily but only 2500 tonnes were collected, leaving a 500 deficit which piles up as the days wear on.
To address this shortfall, the former Member of Parliament for Tema East, said he will collaborate with the Sanitation and Water Resources Minister to ensure that the deficit of 500 of waste was cleared.
“I will work together with the Sanitation Minister to achieve this. Sanitation is one area that I am going to look at and look at very well,” he maintained.
In his view, the growing numbers in Accra meant that much work was needed in the sanitation area as one of the ways of enhancing the lives of the people.
“In Greater Accra, you have to be doing a lot of sanitation to be able to perform, because like I said, Accra is very dirty, so if you want to improve life in Accra you have to handle the sanitation aspect of it,” Mr. Ashitey who is also the Greater Accra Chairman of the governing NPP said.
When asked how he intends to fund the agenda, Mr. Ashitey said “when government is able to spend wisely, we will be able to get money to tackle the sanitation issue.”
A Joint Monitoring Programme report, dubbed “Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water: 2015 Update and MDG Assessment,” by the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Children’s Fund, ranked Ghana the seventh dirtiest country in the world.
On how he was going to ensure jobs were created for the teeming unemployed youth, Mr. Ashitey said he would ride on the back of the ‘One District, One Factory’ policy to attract investors into the region.
He added that security was high on the agenda of the government and will not leave any stone unturned to ensure citizens in the region were safe.
Mr. Ashitey also expressed concern over the spate of deaths on the N1 Highway and said plans were advanced to site footbridges at vantage points along the 14-kilometre stretch of road and called on citizens to be disciplined.
By Julius Yao Petetsi