From October this year, owners or occupants of buildings in Accra who fail to clean and green their immediate surroundings are to be prosecuted and fined
Additionally, they would be liable for surcharge with the cost of works if an Assembly is compelled to undertake cleaning and greening on their behalf.
These penalties and others are contained in a draft bye-law under discussion for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in Accra, targeted at making owners or occupants of buildings in Accra responsible for the cleaning of their immediate surroundings.
Dubbed, ‘Cleaning and Greening of the Frontage of Residential, Private, Public and Commercial Buildings Bye-Laws, 2021,’ it is being championed by the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council (RCC).
When passed, the bye-law would give legal backing to the “Operation Clean your Frontage,” one of the strategies being led by the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey, as part of the “Let’s Make Accra Work” initiative.
Among other things, the document described failure to keep the frontage of their premises and drains up to the middle of the street clean, failing to provide standard container for refuse storage as prescribed by the Assembly, receiving service from an unauthorised person or uses the services of unregistered solid or liquid waste contractor and failure to keep the premises from overgrown weeds and hedges, under bush and stagnant water as offences which would be prosecuted with the bye-law.
Others cited include discharging effluent into the open drains, the compound of that person or environment, dumping solid and liquid waste in open spaces, drains, gutters, behind walls or burns solid waste in one’s compound, allowing rodents to infest premises, defecating in the open, drains or one’s compound and operating a public toilet without a valid permit from the Assembly.
In a meeting with Editors on July 30, Mr Quartey stated that, the document would be passed and gazetted as an addendum to be signed and adopted by the various MMDAs within the region as a by-law to check sanitation and waste management.
Currently, he said, the RCC was engaging stakeholders on the draft to capture their inputs and make it workable and effective without violating the rights of residents of the region.
“We have had a bi-partisan engagement on this by-law with Members of Parliament from the region. We have consulted the chiefs and traditional rulers, religious leaders as well as leaders of commercial transport groupings including GPRTU and PROTEA.
We are engaging the media and would do so with the Ghana Bar Association to enrich it and ensure the bye-law conform to our country’s laws,” Mr Quartey added.
He stated that it would be finally reviewed by the Attorney General and passed by the end of September or early October for enforcement to commence.
As part of the operation, he said, the RCC plans to install concrete dustbins along all the highways in Accra to enable motorists and pedestrians to dump their solid waste and prevent littering, adding that the installation would be piloted on the Ayi Mensah Toll booth to Accra Novotel and Teshie to Circle roads.
Additionally, commercial vehicles would be required to fix dustbins for passengers to dump their waste, a move the Regional Minister noted, was being discussed with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) to be made a requirement for vehicle registration.
He said, Zoomlion, the waste management company responsible for the emptying of bins have been engaged to review its working approach to ensure that the bins are emptied and cleaned regularly.
The company, Mr Quartey noted, had been engaged to supply all households within Accra with a bin to help them keep their wastes.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS