By Gifty Arthur
The Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA) in association with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the Minister for the Greater Accra Region, have cleaned Accra to improve the sanitary condition in the capital.
It follows a directive by the Vice President, Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, who recently led the AMA to clean, parts of the capital in the wake of the outbreak of cholera, which has claimed over 50 lives so far in Accra alone.
The clean-up, was led by the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Julius Debrah, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, the Chief Executive of AMA, Alfred Oko Vanderpujie, Municipal Chief Executive for the La Dadekotopon, Rita Odoley Sowah and President of ESPA, Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyapong.
The last Saturday morning exercise, which was described as successful, covered the Central Business District (CBD), La Market, Kaneshie Market and Madina Market. ESPA members, who are mainly waste management organizations, noted that this exercise would be organized quarterly to rid the capital of filth.
According to ESPA, rapid population growth and increased industrialization, have turned Ghana’s waste situation into a huge problem indicating that, “with today’s lifestyle, it is estimated that one person can generate as much as half a kilo or more of waste a day”.
ESPA said, since it recognizes the severity of the waste problem, it is giving priority to establish appropriate measures to address some of these challenges, revealing that the next clean-up exercise will be organized in November.
Concerned with the present state of the capital’s sanitary problems resulting in outbreak of cholera, ESPA suggested that its perspective on solid management, concluding that, “it is absolutely necessary, therefore, that the necessary preventive strategies and collection methods for solid waste, are put in place in order to avoid such epidemic in the future”.
At the Agbogbloshie market, the media was shocked to see a very choked drains, popularly known as “Galaway gutter”, dredged to the amazement of all, some attested to the fact that they had carried stories on that drains, which they thought posed serious health threat to the people in and around the place.
The bad stench, which engulfed that area for years, had vanished as at the time of the visit. Dr Vanderpujie assured that to maintain the current success, the AMA was from this week, going to start the fencing of that drains to prevent human activities, such as throwing of rubbish and defecating into the drains to keep it clean.
“You are standing in Agboglogloshie, I hope you can see that? You can see that several things have changed for the past twelve days that we have been working here. We have eliminated the unsanitary condition that [used to] surround this place, we have eliminated the attitude of dumping directly into the drain of the Korle Lagoon. We are dredging it as much as possible to open the flow of the water so that it will flow.
“We are going to construct a wall on the edges of what we have done, so that we will prevent the pollution physically and atmospherically that is going into the Korle Lagoon. This is a remarkable achievement of what we are doing, the partnership between AMA, Ministry of Local Government [and Rural Development], Ministry of Science and Technology and the RCC to ensure development sanitation standard in Accra. This is not going to be a nine day wonder”, he said.
Mr. Debrah, in entreating members of the public to practice good environmental practices assured, he would support ESPA as noted to clean the capital every quarter to enhance and make Accra a better place.