Just recently, the president, Nana Akuffo Addo launched a sanitation campaign and the objective of the campaign is to ensure that Accra becomes the cleanest city in the whole of Africa.
The president is not the first person to ever launch a sanitation campaign. We’ve seen other former presidents do same and even other private bodies make efforts as well but we still see a ‘dirty’ Ghana all the time.
The other time, we mentioned in our article that, Government needed to be stricter and citizens more responsible if we would want to really achieve the objective of seeing a clean Ghana.
We don’t need to understand quantum physics before we can grasp the glaring dangers and effect of improper sanitation in the country–We believe everyone knows of its effects, whether educated or not but our attitude as a people have got to change.
After our initial publication, we got lots of feedback from those who read the article and they told us about some of the many reasons why our sanitation in Ghana has not seen any major improvement.
One of our readers told us that, some politicians interfere in the enforcement of bye-laws on sanitation. When the person made the revelation, I must admit that I was shocked and confused at the same time, till she explained to me how some politicians interfere.
From what I learned from her, there was one time when her boss was threatened by an Assemblyman just because he was arresting people who defecated openly—I was utterly shocked when she said this.
This assemblyman didn’t want to lose votes and would rather let people break the by-laws than to lose his office. If we have 20 of such people in government, how then do we solve the sanitation problem?
But that’s not the only hindrance as to why the sanitation problem has not been dealt with in this country.
There are other issues such as government’s neglect of the environmental health unit. We gather that the unit which is also equally responsible to ensure that proper sanitation is achieved in this country lacks funds, no logistics and some of the offices do not even have common chairs, thus making their work very difficult.
Also most districts in Ghana do not have courts, so it becomes very difficult for those who break the law like dumping refuse on the streets, defecating openly and committing all sorts of ‘sanitation offenses’ are not able to be prosecuted so that it would deter others from repeating the same mistakes.
There’s also an issue of poor waste management in this country and it’s about time new measures and strategies are implemented. If you go to the markets where most of these market women dump waste on the streets, the excuse they give is that Zoomlion does not come to collect the rubbish on time, so they are left with no choice than to dump them on the streets.
It’s very disheartening to drive in Accra and see some refuse dumped on the streets and you begin to wonder whose job is it to ensure that, things are not done that way.
We cannot lay the blame at the doorsteps of the waste management companies only but we are also to be blamed for being irresponsible at times, expecting everything to be done for us by the government.
Like we had mentioned earlier, the government needs to be stricter and citizens more responsible.
For Ghana to be clean, we all have a role to play to ensure that objective is achieved. Those who break sanitation laws must be dealt with.Those who are responsible for ensuring that that objective is achieved should not be corrupt and think about the collective good of the country and not just their selfish interests. The government should also empower the various institutions responsible for ensuring sanitation is maintained in the country.
Lastly, be a responsible citizen, when someone dumps refuse or litter inappropriately, caution them and if the need be report them to the appropriate bodies.
Have something to add to this article, share your thoughts on this in comments.