General News of Thursday, 20 July 2017
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) seems to be losing its fight against sanitation as major parts of the capital are engulfed in filth.
A visit to the central business district on Saturday showed a pale site of the AMA’s efforts in combating rubbish in Accra.
The street leading to the central business district, where the AMA headquarters is located, and major market places in the capital were filled with heaps of rubbish left unattended to.
Makola, Okaishie and other parts of the central business district were engulfed in filth, with market women selling foodstuffs close to the rubbish site with no concern about the danger it poses to their health and that of customers.
Also, the rubbish collection site at the Kaneshie market was full to the brim with piles of garbage which has attracted files.
Although the AMA collects daily tolls from the market women for the upkeep of the market, the assembly is falling short in its mandate of keeping their jurisdiction devoid of filth.
The situation poses a major health threat to the city, especially with the onset of the rains. The heaps of rubbish and the poor drainage system in the city may trigger another outbreak of cholera, which is preventable through environmental sanitation and personal hygiene.
In 2014, the deadly cholera outbreak in Ghana claimed the lives of some 250 people and infected as many as 25, 000 people between January and December.
The outbreak was recorded as the worst the country has experienced in the past 30 years, pushing government to use its limited resources to undertake projects to combat the further spread of the disease.
Meanwhile, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has admitted owing sanitation companies contracted to clean the city.
President Akufo-Addo during his media encounter at the Flagstaff House gave the assurance that his government would settle debts owed the sanitation service providers to facilitate the evacuation of refuse in the country.
He said this would enable service providers to deliver timely and efficient services and fulfil government’s commitment to making Accra the cleanest city in Africa.
He said the huge debts owed service providers was hampering their ability to deliver timely and efficient services.
“Therefore, the debts would be paid and the evacuation of the refuse would be aggressively pursued,” he said.
The president also mentioned that provisions had been made to augment sanitation infrastructures in the country.
He said waste transfer stations would be constructed at strategic locations to facilitate rapid collection to final disposal sites.
This project, he said, would begin in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Assembly and would be extended to other parts of the country.