Residents threaten to boycott Sanitation Day over uncollected garbage

Residents in Accra and Kumasi are fuming over piles of uncollected garbage lining streets in their cities three days after the national sanitation exercise.

The residents say they are fed up with the foul smell coming off the heaps of garbage as some of them take their rage to social media.

The national sanitation day exercise is meant to encourage voluntary cleaning of communities by the public but has not received massive patronage in most areas yet.’

Iin some areas where residents do clean up, the garbage remains uncollected.

Joy News’ checks in the Ashanti region, for instance in areas like Adum, Asafo and Sobolo, show scenes of uncollected refuse from Saturday’s exercise.

Most residents are unhappy about the trend. Some are threatening to boycott subsequent exercises as they raise issues with possible cholera infection and other sanitation-related diseases.

Assembly woman for Asafo, Kumasi, Akua Achiaa, says wheel barrows for the exercise were not enough, explaining why the garbage had not been collected. However, some persons have been hired to cart the garbage, she said.

Local governance expert, George Kyei Baffour told Joy FM’s Top Story the situation is ‘challenging’ and ‘overwhelming’.

He called authorities to provide fundamental tools such as bins, wheel barrows among others, to ensure that the exercise becomes a success.

He noted that the various assemblies have been starved for funds as Government is yet to release their common fund, explaining why they have not been able to adequately assist in the national exercise.

But Deputy Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Emmanuel Kofi Agyekum said when news about the uncollected garbage got to him, the mayors of the two cities – AMA and KMA – were charged to ensure that they were cleared.

He said he later toured some of these communities and realised all the rubbish has been collected. However, he accepted the fact that the exercise is faced with inadequate trucks to collect garbage from all communities at a go, and therefore appealed to residents and assemblies to inform his outfit using a provided hotline number to ensure that no refuse is left uncollected.

Mr. Agyekum also stated that ensuring a clean environment or making the exercise successful goes beyond the provision of basic equipment. He called for greater discipline among residents who litter indiscriminately as well as engaging in activities which compound the sanitation situation.

On the issue of the common fund which has delayed, he assured the assemblies that they would be paid but could not tell when because his outfit is at the mercy of the finance ministry to honour that duty. He also challenged the assemblies to go beyond the fund and innovate other means of managing their areas.

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