General News of Friday, 4 August 2017
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has launched an environmental sanitation model dubbed the “sniper Samasama project” to begin a vigorous enforcement of the assembly’s sanitation by-laws.
The model would also guide environmental health officials in their work to guarantee a strict adherence to the laws.
According to the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Accra, Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, the assembly was poised to make a difference in addressing the menace of insanitary conditions in the country.
He added that adequate resources would be allocated to aid environmental health officers to carry out their duties appropriately.
“We are poised to enforce the law to have a clean, safe and healthy city inhabiting healthy people,” he said.
Two local courts, he noted, had been renovated to handle sanitation cases.
Addressing environmental officers after a workshop to train them on what to do on the field, Mr Sowah explained that the Director for the Public Health Department of the AMA, Mr Victor Acquaye, had been tasked to design a programme to re-invigorate the responsibility of the sanitary officers.
He said the ‘samasama’ concept was operational in the Nkrumah regime but somewhat fizzled out and that had contributed to the poor sanitary conditions in the city.
He emphasised that it was the assembly’s intention to end the culture of collecting refuse on the streets, adding that the assembly would now direct its focus on ways to prevent unhealthy practices.
“We cannot continue to sweep while people litter; we cannot continue to clean the environment while people throw refuse into the drains as well as leaving refuse unattended in households, “ he said. “We will put a stop to the practice,” he added.
Avoid political interference
The environmental officers were entreated by the mayor to issue summons without fear.
He also urged coordinating directors to avoid political interference in the course of the environmental officers’ work.
The MCE said such unhealthy interference would not allow the assembly achieve its vision.
He advised the public against keeping waste in their houses with the excuse of waste collectors not collecting it on time.
He also expressed worry over the indiscriminate dumping of refuse at unauthorised sites by tricycle waste collectors, saying measures would be put in place to halt their illegal actions.
For his part, Mr Acquaye said environmental health officers would visit markets and households every Wednesday for inspection.
He, therefore, entreated the public, especially food vendors, to cook in hygienic environments to avoid prosecution.