The Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources on Tuesday launched a programme to distribute 20,000 dustbins to various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies across the country to improve sanitation.

Dubbed “Street Litter Bins”, the programme is part of the initiative to curb public littering and help in the realisation of the government’s agenda to make Accra and Ghana, at large, clean.

Although the distribution of dustbins is not new, it is another initiative to aid the MDAs to tackle sanitation which has become an issue of concern to all in the country due to its accompanying repercussions.

In times past, similar distributions have been done with the dustbins reportedly stolen, abandoned by waste collectors until the waste overflows or the bins are simply not used by the citizenry.

We are happy about the new programme and hope that this time round, a different story would be told due to some measures that have been instituted to ensure that the programme achieves its objective.

Under the programme, all beneficiary MMDAs would sign an agreement on the management and sustainability of the litter bins with their environmental health officers trained to capture all locations of mounted bins digitally, to ensure proper tracking and monitoring.

Dedicated phone numbers would be printed on all the bins to receive complaints from the public in relation to overflowing, full, dirty or damaged bins for immediate action by the respective assembly and to enable the ministry to monitor those assigned to clean and dislodge the bins.

These new measures would help trace and monitor the bins and take immediate action and prevent the funds invested into this programme from going down the drain.

Once the bins have been provided the other aspect of conquering littering is attitudinal change. The indiscriminate throwing away of sachets, plastic bottles and other wrappings is assuming serious dimensions.

Every day, bus stations, markets, streets and walkways are littered by the very people that use such facilities. Sometimes, there are bins visibly placed but people drop their litter anywhere often times deliberately.

It is very disappointing that sometimes, drivers and occupants of luxurious vehicles will shamelessly throw away litter from their vehicles. Sometimes these are well-educated persons expected to know better.

As the rainy season proceeds, it is uncommon to see chunk of rubbish overflowing gutters and choking some, with the associated effects being flooding and outbreak of sanitation related diseases.

This indiscriminate littering must stop. It is totally unacceptable and regrettable that the once law-abiding Ghanaian has become recalcitrant and has developed poor attitude towards the environment.

Indeed, it is because of such recalcitrant persons that the byelaws were made and so the various MDAs must apply the law without fear or favour to serve as deterrent to others.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s promise to make Accra the cleanest city is one that we would hold him to but its realisation rest not on him alone.

The government, law enforcement agencies and citizenry must play their respective roles to make indiscriminate littering history. If we will win the war against littering and poor sanitation in general, we must all play our part.

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