Alfred Oko Vanderpuije , Mayor of Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), has hinted of the enacting of a national sanitation law to give credence to the National Sanitation day exercise carried out every first Saturday of the month.
According to the mayor, a sanitation law backing the exercise would give a legal support to the national activity aimed at ridding the country of filth and sanitation related illnesses.
‘I believe very strongly that we need to back this exercise by law. The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development I believe, is working on something like that and if we have a law that we can hold people responsible for, I think it will go a long way,’ he said.
The law, he observed, would also look at the replacement of un-degradable plastics with degradable ones.
Mr. Vanderpuije gave this hint when he joined residents of Salaga and London Markets, Gbegbei Sei, Agege, Dansoman and Osu, in a monitoring exercise aimed at making the people clean the gutters and drainages.
Although the national clean-up exercise seems to be gaining currency, some communities have not been keen about it.
While some residents at the communities Dr. Vanderpuije visited embraced the idea and were seen busily cleaning their environs, others went about their duties unconcerned about the national activity.
The mayor of Accra complained about the apathetic attitude of some members of the communities towards the national exercise.
He said although people had come out to support the national activity since it started three months ago, ‘my concern is the apathy of some members of the community to participate because anywhere the whole community has taken on this challenge you see the difference it is making on the ground.’
Vanderpuije said the AMA had launched a series of activities as part of the sanitation programme to ensure that the periodic cleaning and collection of rubbish in communities are sustained.
One such activity he said, was the free bins for rubbish to be given to residents who register with the waste management company working in their areas to collect their rubbish.
Prosper Bani, Chief of Staff at the presidency, who joined the mayor in the exercise, was optimistic the exercise was gaining momentum, notwithstanding the low turnout by members of the community.
‘Everyone that came out to work is contributing to the success of this exercise,’ he said.
Mr. Bani said it was anticipated that government will continue to support environmental programmes that would collectively reduce health challenges and called on the members of the communities to own the exercise for a healthier environment.
The national sanitation (monthly) exercise, the third in the series, was instituted by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to rid the country of filth after months of battling with Cholera, which claimed over 200 lives nationwide.
BY Jamila Akweley Okertchiri
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