The Ablekuma North Municipal Assembly (AbNMA) at the weekend intensified the ‘Operation Clean Your Frontage (OCYF) campaign with a clean-up exercise at the Mallam and Odorkor markets in Accra.
The OCYF was initiated by the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey early this year was to whip up awareness among residents to clean the frontage of their homes and other places of abode to ensure environmental cleanliness.
It was also to ensure that the assemblies enforce all sanitation bye-laws and bring to book perpetrators of sanitation offences.
The AbNMA Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Kofi Ofori led officials of the assembly who were joined by traders and market women to clear the two markets of filth.
Speaking with the media after the two-hour exercise, Mr Ofori, said as required by law, it was mandatory of all traders in the market to clean their surroundings to ensure a safe and hygienic environment to transact foodstuff business.
He said dealing with foodstuff in an unhygienic environment was a medium to spread diseases and urged the traders to do what was needful.
According to the MCE, the exercise would be undertaken once a month to ensure that the market operated on the expected sanitary standards.
Mr Ofori urged all market women and traders to avoid the inconvenience of facing justice by complying with the bye-laws, adding that OCYF did not only pertain to cleaning your homes but all workplaces as well.
The Municipal Environmental Health Officer, Mrs Harriet Krakue, on her part said the assembly would not relent on its efforts to ensure that foodstuffs were sold to consumers in the best of sanitary conditions, saying a filthy market environment would not only spread diseases but also discourage customers from buying from them.
She condemned the situation where some traders heaped rubbish close to their wares, adding that such offenders would suffer the penalty upon the next visit if found culpable.
The Chairman of the Mallam Market Traders Association, Mr Nat Wastern, urged the assembly to possibly station health inspectors in the market to check incidents of sanitation offences.
He prevailed upon the assembly to provide more litter bins at the market to facilitate refuse dumping as against the single bin currently being used.
Mr Wastern said issues of sanitation feature prominently in scheduled meetings with the market women adding, however that logistical and personnel support from the assembly would be needed to achieve the desired objectives.
He said that occupants of existing unauthorised structures at the outskirts of the market were also contributing to the nuisance through indiscriminate dumping, therefore, authorities would clamp down on their illegal activities.
BY NORMAN COOPER