Editorial

DEALING WITH SANITATION OFFENDERS

ONE major headache of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) is the insanitary conditions in various communities.

The situation has become a source of worry, not only to the MMDAs, but the public and foreigners who come to our country.

Hardly a day passes by without people complaining bitterly about the insanitary conditions prevailing in the cities.

A cursory look around the city of Accra shows litter all over the place which leaves one wondering who is responsible for ensuring that at least the city is clean.

We are all aware that it is the city authorities that have the responsibility to keep the city clean but it appears that they are unable to do so.

That is why every nook and cranny of our cities look dirty with choked gutters and stinking rubbish dumps.

The major cause of the insanitary condition, we are told, is the attitude of most city dwellers who throw rubbish anywhere in the city and litter the communities without restraints.

What is worse is that, there are no dustbins and dumpsters for the disposal of these rubbish and that is why members of the public litter indiscriminately.

Although there are bylaws against littering and dumping of rubbish at unapproved places, hardly is the law implemented and offenders punished for these sanitation related offences.

Perhaps, it is against this background that even though the law exists, the punishment given to offenders is not deterrent enough to prevent people from littering.

The Municipal Chief Executive of the Ayawaso North Assembly, Aminu Mohammed Zakari, is suggesting that punishment for sanitation offenders be changed from misdemeanor to felony to ensure compliance with sanitary regulations.

Currently, some of the persons who flout sanitation laws attract cautions, fines, convictions or both.

Mr Zakari also suggested that with the offence becoming a felony, longer prison sentences for non compliance may deter others from littering and engaging in unlawful disposal of waste.

The Ayawaso North Municipal Chief Executive may have spoken the minds of many Ghanaians who would want to see a cleaner and neater country than we have today.

Everybody wished the country could be cleaner and there would be no need to exert heavy punishment for sanitation offenders but it appears many of us do not care about the insanitary situation surrounding us.

We therefore call on all the assemblies and stakeholders to find ways, including taking a second look at our bylaws, to see what can be done to keep our communities clean.

The insanitary condition is becoming an embarrassment to us all and that must change.

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