Many campaign promises are heard preceding general elections, and even after resounding victories, many more assurances are made. Flagship programmes, wealth creation agendas, societal inclusion schemes and environmental projects with appealing communiques, never seem to leave the sight of citizens. The feasibility of all these, could however be seen or felt during and after the end of a candidate’s term.  

Truthfully, my heart was filled with ebullience after hearing the president proclaim that Accra would be the cleanest city in Africa after his end of term.                                                             This promise stood tall above all others in an objective perspective not because all other initiatives were less important but because as a citizen, it was becoming a lot more worrying seeing principal streets covered with litters and pockets of garbage, the very familiar pungent smell from choked gutters and drains, perennial floods which claim lives and properties and most importantly the overall effect on our health.

Unlike all other national issues; the one regarding sanitation requires a lot more attitudinal change from citizens and the institution of some sanitation structures and regulations.

Over seven years after the proclamation of this commendable promise, the obvious is a glaring mirage. The alacrity with which the promise was made cannot be seen in the implementation of it. Day in day out, the beautiful sceneries from our principal streets are replaced with unappealing sights and the same old attitudes towards our immediate environment do not seem to be corrected. It is as though we are clueless about how to change the status of our sanitation issues while the ramifications of our actions and inactions keep glaring at us.

Sadly, Ghana can boast of a lot of institutions tasked with the mandate of keeping our surroundings clean but the reality is a gap between their responsibilities and expectations. We are rather familiar and made accustom to the entropy of situations;  waste bins left unattended to for weeks, overgrown hedges along pavements trapping plastic bags and litters, choked drains, polluted water bodies and unapproved places of convenience. O Mother Ghana!

Necessity is laid on every single one of us to take charge of our surroundings as it is a direct reflection of us. Even more so, our current reality shows the willingness of the authorities in charge to solve this menace.

Accra becoming the cleanest city in Africa requires stringent measures and more proactive steps with the institution and reinforcement of appropriate punishments where necessary. Most importantly, the leading contributor of filth; plastics must be duly regulated. Till then the assurances made would be nothing but a projection of an indistinct mirage.

The writer is a National Service Person with Promasidor Ghana Limited


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