Mr Aminu Mohammed Zakari, the Municipal Chief Executive of Ayawaso North Municipal Assembly (ANMA) has suggested a change in the punishment for sanitation offenders from misdemeanor to felony to ensure compliance with sanitation regulations.
Currently, punishment for persons who flouted sanitation bye-laws attract a caution, fine, conviction or both.
Speaking to the Ghanaian Times in an exclusive interview ahead of a project dubbed, ‘Distribution of one million waste bins’ in Accra, yesterday, Mr Zakari said that when offenders get longer prison sentences for non-compliance with the law, it may deter other culprits from littering and engaging in unlawful disposal of waste.
Mr Zakari who is known for his tough stance in law enforcement warned that he would not spare anyone found in brush with the law including members of his political party, the New Patriotic Party(NPP).
He noted that prosecution of sanitation offenders was one sure way to help bring into fruition government’s vision of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa.
Mr Zakari said 20 people from the municipality had so far been prosecuted for various sanitation offences.
He stated that five out of the 20 were remanded, while one person was convicted to a fine of GH¢1,200.00.
The ANMA boss said the waste-bin project is a collaboration between the assembly, Waste Alliance and Universal Plastic Product Recycling (UPPR) to distribute 2,000 refuse bins to households in the municipality.
The bins which come in 120 and 240 litres are distributed to the beneficiaries after payment of between GHȻ20.00 and GHȻ30.00.
The bigger ones go for GHȻ30.00 each while the smaller bins are given away at GHȻ20.00 each.
Mr Zakari said the cost of the 240-litre waste bin is estimated to cost between GHȻ200.00 and GHȻ300.00 but the assembly subsidised them to enable many people to own a waste bin.
He has, therefore, cautioned residents to register and own the waste bins, explaining that those who do not get a bin a month after the exercise would be prosecuted.
Mr Kwasi Asamoah Bafour, a senior manager at Alliance Waste, a subsidiary of Jospong Group of Companies Ltd told the beneficiaries that collection and disposal would be done four times every month at a fee pegged between GH¢20.00 and GH¢30.00 depending on the size of the waste bin.
He said, for instance, if a person owns two or more of either 120 or 240 litres, she/he would pay more collection and disposal fee.
Ambassador Ashie Morton, the President of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Africa urged residents to demystify the widely held perception that Nima, Maamobi, Newtown and other zongos are filthy.
To change the narrative, Ambasador Morton called for attitudinal change if the municipality was to be rid of filth.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA