National Sanitation Day observed with mixed-reactions

Mr Julius Debrah,Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (3)The second edition of the National Sanitation Day, instituted by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, to rid the country of filth, was observed last Saturday, with mixed-reactions by the people.

The Spintex Youth Club has appealed to waste management authorities to provide waste collection bins, in order for members to actively participate in the fight against indiscriminate disposal of waste.

Members of the youth club, who joined other residents of the area and the rest of Ghanaians in observing the second edition of the National Sanitation Day, cleaned the environment, disilted choked gutters and drains from the Kasapreko Junction to Shell Signboard at Spintex area, in Accra-Tema.

They removed refuse from the drains and gutters onto the shoulders of the streets with the hope that the waste management agencies would collect them.

“We can’t continue clearing the gutters and then nothing is done about collection of the waste”, a leading member of the club, Mr Philip Amegavi, told The Ghanaian Times, adding “ The last time we observed this day, the rubbish heaps were left here unattended to, and eventually they have found their way back in to the drains”.

He said the youth might stop participating in subsequent national clean up exercises if dustbins are not provided for the collection of refuse.

“We can’t continue wasting our time on this exercise if dustbins can’t be provided for us to dispose of the rubbish that we collect. If this rubbish is not collected within the next few days, we the youth of Spintex won’t participate in the next edition of the national clean up exercise”, Mr. Amegavi threatened.

At the time of filing this report, the rubbish was still left unattended to on the shoulders of the street.

Charles Amankwa, reports that a considerable number of residents in the Ga South municipality turned up for the national clean-up exercise, which took place at various communities in the area on Saturday.

The participants came from communities, including Bortianor, Hobor, Weija, Mallam, McCarthy Hill and Tuba.

As at 6:15 a.m., some workers of the assembly, Police, Fire Service, health centres and the National Disaster Management Organisation, and the public, were led by the Municipal Chief Executive, Mr. Jerry Kwei Thompson to desilt drains near the Mallam Interchange.

Scores of residents also joined with brooms, rakes, shovels, wheel barrows, cutlasses, and axes to clear filth and weeds at Mallam Junction.

Mr. Thompson called for comprehensive strategies to make the exercise more effective not in only the municipality but the whole country.

He urged all assemblies to enact bye-laws to compel or appeal to residents to take part in the exercise.

Mr. Thompson, however, expressed the hope that subsequent clean ups would be more effective, considering the strategies the Ga South Assembly was putting in place to attract more participants.

From Tamale, Yakubu Abdul-Majeed, reports that hundreds of residents took part in the clean-up in the Tamale metropolis of the Northern Region.

The people swept and removed garbage from choked drains in the central business area of the metropolis.

This month’s sanitation exercise, which was in memory of the late former Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama attracted opinion leaders of the metropolis.

Mr. Abdul-Rahaman Hannah Gundadow, Metropolitan Chief Executive for Tamale, commended the residents for taking part in the exercise.

“We are very grateful to all especially the chiefs and market women who suspended business and joined in the clean-up exercise,” he said.

Alhaji Gundadow assured the residents that the assembly would do everything possible to keep the city clean, and urged them to co-operate with the authorities to realise the dream, by keeping their surroundings clean.

The Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji A B A Fuseini, who took part in the exercise, said the government would not relent in its efforts to sustain the National Sanitation Day exercise.

Report from GNA, indicates that residents of the Wa municipality showed a lukewarm attitude towards the National Sanitation Day with a few people taking part in the exercise.

The streets were empty with no activity despite the fact that radio and Information Service Department Cinema Vans sensitised residents about the importance of the clean up.

The Wa Police and staff of Zoomlion, a sanitation management company, were seen clearing choked gutters while residents were looking on.

The Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Issahaku Nuhu Putiaha, and the Upper West Regional Minister, Alhaji Amidu Sulemana’s presence did not encourage the onlookers to participate in the exercise.

At the Wa Central Market, while large numbers of Zoomlion staff were busy cleaning choked gutters, some market women were seen transacting business and showed no concern.

Alhaji Abdulai Abdallah, Regional Manager of Zoomlion Company, expressed worry at the attitude of the residents.

He called for budgetary allocation by the district, metropolitan and municipal assemblies for the clean up, and suggested the enforcement of sanitation laws to compel the people to take part in the exercise, as well as discourage them from littering the environment.

Mr. Henry Bagah, Regional Environmental Officer called for the involvement of various associations and unions to support the exercise to help clean the municipality.

He said, relying on the public without enforcement of sanitation laws would not encourage residents to participate in the exercise.

Mr. Bagah lauded the efforts of the Wa Municipal  and Nandom District Assemblies’ efforts of sustaining the  monthly clean up exercise, to rid the communities of garbage, which serves as breeding grounds for cholera and other diseases.

By Julius Yao Petetsi   

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