……200 Security Cameras For Waste Bin Thieves
By Gifty Arthur
The Chief (Mantse) of James Town, Obrempon Nii Kojo Ababio V, has condemned unscrupulous individuals, who go about thwarting efforts of city authorities to curb the insanitary conditions in the Greater Accra Region.
He has charged the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to constitute a taskforce, purposely to arrest such people, who defy efforts by authorities to provide waste bins to homes for waste collection, but they end up being used for storing water, food and others.
The over ninety-year-old chief, made the suggestion, when he chaired a programme last Wednesday, to launch the National Waste Bin Distribution (Nawabin), under the auspices of the Ministries of Local Government and Rural Development and Health.
Under the first phase of the programme, a total of one million waste bins, will be distributed to homes solely for the collection of solid waste, which will be collected periodically by the various waste management companies.
According to the chief who is also the paramount chief of the Ga Traditional Council, it was not the first time such a laudable initiative was being implemented, explaining that in the past, the AMA especially, had spearheaded such a measure but was stalled by some unpatriotic citizens, who used the bins for other purposes other than what it was intended for.
Speaking under the theme, “A clean house, a healthy family and wealthy nation”, Nii Kojo Ababio said the theme was most appropriate and timely, judging from the current cholera outbreak, which has claimed over fifty lives in the region, most of which came from the metropolis.
The Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpujie, in what looked like a response to the chief said, through the assistance of the National Security, some 200 cameras, would be placed at vantage points to record and capture anyone whose motive is to steal waste bins that would be placed at public places for waste that are generated on the streets.
Explaining further, the Dr Vanderpujie said, that a watchdog committee has already been set-up, which includes the various assembly members
who would be going round homes to register them to pay a fee for collection of waste that will be put in the bins.
He warned that the taskforce would prosecute anyone who goes contrary to the lay down rules associated with the taskforce’s work.
He further urged the chiefs, opinion leaders and the public to be significant and support the work of the taskforce to make Accra a better place.
According to the Mayor, the waste bins distributed project, would be carried out throughout the country to eradicate the epidemic. There were solidarity messages from Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA), National Centre for Civic Education (NCCE), the Greater
Accra Market Women Association, Greater Accra Regional Health Services, the Muslim Community, among others.
With today’s lifestyle, it is estimated that one person can generates as much as half a kilo or more of waste a day, while the annual rate of generation has risen over the last two decades from about 7000 metric tons a day in 1996 to 9500 metric tons in 2006 and presently around 14, 400 metric tons.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, said it was regrettable to note that despite all efforts by authorities, the number of cholera cases keep rising, adding that the fight against filth and deadly diseases, such as cholera “is not a one man show but a share responsibility”.
The Member of Parliament for (MP) Odododiodio, Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpujie, in a passionate remark said, most Ghanaians continue to lead lives of deception condemning all for contributing to the mess, diseases and filth that has engulfed the country.
The Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, said unlike the politician who was unable to take certain stance due to their delicate position and for fear of losing votes, journalists, chiefs and others, have the power to instill discipline in recalcitrant people who flout the laws of the land.
Speaking on behalf of the many waste management companies, Ms Ama Antwi of ESPA, commended government for the waste bin distribution adding the project will help home to keep waste at the right places before they come for them for the final disposal sites.