The National Sanitation Day was held in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis on Saturday, with a five- hour clean-up exercise, which saw the active participation of the security agencies.
The security agencies, comprising the Navy, Air Force, Army, Police, Prisons and their sister groups, joined hands with officials from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the Regional Co-ordinating Council and the Metropolitan Assembly, to clear the city of filth at the Central Business District (CBD) and the outlying areas.
The team from the Ghana National Fire Service (GNSF) also used their fire tenders to clear refuse from the market.
The exercise was described by the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Alhaji Collins Dauda, as “very good.”
At 6.15 a.m., when The Ghanaian Times visited the Market Circle at the CBD, some market women were sweeping the main gate near the Opportunity International Bank and ECOBANK areas, while other volunteers cleared the gutter at the traffic light near the UBA Bank.
As all stores and gates to the market had been closed, the Metro Task Force destroyed wooden packing cases belonging to tomato sellers who defied the order not to offload goods at the market, opposite the GCB Bank.
Meanwhile, a team of workers from Zoomlion were also standing by, for the exercise to take off.
The momentum and enthusiasm for the exercise geared up at 7.00 a.m. when Alhaji Dauda arrived at the Police Post at the CBD, accompanied by the Western Regional Minister, Mr. Paul Evans Aidoo and the Metropolitan Chief Executive, Captain Anthony Cudjoe (rtd), to desilt some drains.
Wearing their gloves, they were joined by the Minister of Petroleum, Mr. Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah, to desilt the main drain near the Women Banking on the Dadzie-Pakos streets down to Number One areas.
The team proceeded to the main drain behind the SSG-Bank, where it was reported to have flooded during the heavy rains due to the blockage caused by the siting of kiosks on drains.
At the second-hand stores behind the Fidelity Bank, Alhaji Dauda and Mr. Aidoo suggested to Captain Cudjoe to ensure that the traders removed the wooden planks and kiosks that had blocked the drains and also to clean them to ensure the free flow of water.
A similar complaint was made at the Zenith Hotel area and the Sekondi taxi rank, which were noted for flooding during heavy rains.
The atmosphere was charged when the team, accompanied by the Director of the Takoradi Port, Captain James Owusu- Koranteng, visited the GHAPOHA and Railway quarters to encourage residents and the Fire Brigade, who had desilted the major drains with a JCB backhoe machine.
Areas that were cleaned by the team included Kwesimintsim Zongo, the Sekondi Market and the Essikado Hospital junction.
Speaking to journalists, Alhaji Dauda commended residents of Takoradi, especially members of the security agencies, for their massive support, saying, “Western Region has proved they are the best.”
He noted that before his team arrived at the CBD at 7:00am, some people had already begun sweeping the area and gathering the garbage, with some of the main drains cleared.
From Tema, Ken Afedzi reports that the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA), observed the monthly National Sanitation Day (NSD) with the active participation of market women and residents of the metropolis.
However, the apathetic commercial vehicle (taxi and ‘trotro’) drivers who were unconcerned about the clean-up exercise and went about their usual daily duties, were forced by the military to park their vehicles and participate in the exercise before they continued.
Infuriated by their non-involvement, the military personnel cautioned them to participate in the subsequent exercises to avoid being sanctioned.
The exercise which started at 6: am and ended at 11 a.m. with a thorough inspection by the Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr. Isaac Ashai Odamtten, brought individuals together to desilt gutters.
They also swept the streets, cleaned the markets and collected garbage at several points.
Market women cleaned and swept every part of the market, although few of them looked on unconcerned.
Mr. Odamtten, who participated in the exercise, encouraged the people to embrace the exercise with much enthusiasm and desist from indiscriminate littering to ensure the free-flow of the drains to prevent any future disasters.
From Clement Adzei Boye,Takoradi