President John Dramani Mahama on Saturday, joined the people of Sogakope in the South Tongu district of the Volta Region to commemorate the maiden national sanitation day, which recorded tremendous success.
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who also joined hundreds of Ghanaians to clean the streets of Kumasi and neighbouring cities, said government and its agencies, should not be seen to be dictating when and how people must keep clean their surroundings.
In Accra, the problem noticed, was where to dump the rubbish. Most people enthusiastically took part in the exercise, but were faced with this problem. It was feared that most of the debris, would end up back to where they were cleared from, especially the gutters.
From the Volta Region, Citi News’ Norbert Akpablie, reported that the President, who was accompanied by the Chief of Staff, Prosper Bani, joined in the exercise at Sogakope, saying afterwards that Ghanaians should see the clean-up as an activity which should be done on a daily basis.
The President had, earlier in a statement, urged Ghanaians to come out and work together to clean the country during the National Sanitation Day.
He said in a statement on Friday: ” “Sanitation is a public good and its impact affects everybody irrespective of one’s ethnic, political, religious or geographical background. ”
President Mahama, also called on all Ghanaians “to work together, as one unified community of people to ensure the sustainable cleaning of our environs and help make Ghana cleaner and safer.”
In September, he participated in similar exercises when he joined residents in Nima, Teshie,Akoto Lante and Bukom to clean-up their communities.
Meanwhile, The Vice-President, Kwesi Amissah Arthur, who joined the residents of Nima to mark the National Sanitation Day, has urged the media, community leaders and chiefs to help sustain the programme by creating awareness in people the need to keep their communities clean.
“When people see that their surroundings are getting better, they’ll be encouraged to continue to do this work,” he said. It is good and it is beneficial to the people. It’s good for their health and it is good for the community.”
On his part, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has admonished citizens not to wait for the National Sanitation Day instituted by the government — before keeping their surroundings clean.
He reminded the many volunteers taking part in the clean up exercise that, it cost a lot of money to treat diseases, such as cholera, that come about as a result of poor sanitation.
The clean up exercise dubbed, National Sanitation Day took off last Saturday November 1, to deal with deplorable sanitation in the country.
Government hopes to repeat the exercise on the first Saturday of every month.
The National Sanitation Day, in Kumasi and other parts of the country, was characterized by mass clean up of streets, desilting of gutters in various suburbs, cities, towns and villages.
President, John Mahama, his Vice, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, Local Government Minister, Julius Debrah, chiefs and opinion leaders, all took part in the exercise.
Otumfuo said, although the Kumasi Metropolitan Authority (KMA), was mandated to ensure that the metropolis was clean, a clean environment is first and foremost a shared responsibility.
Ghana a few months ago, was ranked among top ten countries with very poor sanitation record by a United Nations (UN) report.
This and the cholera outbreak that claimed hundreds of lives across the country, prompted the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to institute the National Sanitation Day.