Obviously disgusted by the insanitary condition in the country, the United States Embassy in Ghana, on Monday, took to social media, hitting the conscience of Ghanaians and indeed, the government of Ghana on the dangers confronting the country, if nothing is urgently done about the menace.
The embassy which alarmed that More than 250,000 tonnes of plastic waste is ending up in the Atlantic Ocean, warned the people of Ghana, that “by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by weight”.
The envoys, have continuously taken it upon themselves to clean some beaches particularly those around the historic Christiansburg Castle popularly called “The Osu Castle” which is massively engulfed by filth especially human excreta and plastic waste, but it appears they have had enough, as the expected attitudinal change is not forthcoming.
So on Monday, April 22, 2019, the Embassy wrote on Facebook asking; “Did you know that over 3,000 tonnes of waste plastics are generated in Ghana every day – less than 2% is recycled?
The embassy went on to say “More than 250,000 tonnes, or 23%, of all plastic waste generated in a year in Ghana are expected to flow into the Atlantic Ocean”, warning that “by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by weight”.
It added that “…. 82% of Ghana’s plastics waste could be recovered and recycled with existing technologies into value-added products valued at 2 billion GHC per year, creating 5 million jobs across the economy”.
Attached to the write-up, was a picture of a lady believed to an official of the US embassy who carrying refuse away from a beach on her head with some others in the background participating in the cleanup exercise.
Interestingly, the Facebook post by the US embassy, received over hundreds likes and 390 comments with 888 sharing it with their friend and contact on various social media platforms.
On the Same day, The Herald also sighted Mr Ashim Morton, President of the Millennium Excellence Foundation, organisers of the Millennium Excellence awards,equally disgusted about Ghana’s insanitary condition.
Standing next to a very choked drain fully of plastic waste, he wrote on his Facebook face “Somewhere in Accra. For hours I saw absolutely no dumpsters in the Communities. So whose responsibility is it to deploy dumpsters everywhere in Accra? How often are dumpsters collected? Where should the citizens throw their garbage if they have no bins? Change is coming! I want everyone to debate and talk about this. We are working on lasting solutions. This is not acceptable anymore. Stay tuned. If you have any good ideas, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. “He was in a blue suit, brown shoe and red tie to match. It is not clear what Mr Ashim Morton, meant by “We are working on lasting solutions”.
In the case of the US embassy, it is not the face time that diplomats will speak about Ghana’s growing insanitary condition.
In March last year, the then United States Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson admonished that Ghana needs to go the extra mile when it comes to keeping the country spick and span as its capital city was been swallowed by filth.
Over the years, the issue of sanitation has been a recurring battle which does not seem to come to an end. Studies, revealed that the lack of clean drinking water and sanitation systems is a severe public health concern in Ghana, contributing to 70% of diseases in the country.
Robert Jackson buttressed the report by lamenting on the unappealing conditions on how most of the country’s beaches are ridden with dirt, the unpleasantness of people defecating at open places and infiltrated water system.
With Accra evidently besieged with rubbish as well drains choked with solid materials, Robert Jackson charged Ghanaians to take up the task of dealing with problems of open defecation, littering, and unhygienic water reserves which he said are the core roots of the canker.
“I think Ghanaians need to pay a lot more attention to sanitation. It’s a well-known fact that open defecation is a huge problem here. That the water reserve is clogged with plastic. The beaches are not generally very clean. And these are resources Ghanaians need, particularly beaches but also the sanitation system – the water system.”
Queried on whether he would classify the citizens as dirty people when he took his turn on ’21 minutes with KKB’, the Ambassador hesitantly said “it’s not about people being dirty or clean, it’s about good habits. And I will say waste and open defecation are tolerated here.”
He stressed on the importance of educating people on the risk of this category of environmental pollution which has a negative effect on individual’s health.
“The water that is produced for people to use in their homes is leaving the water treatment plants very clean. But because of the pollution and the environment, the water that runs from your tap is not as clean as it should necessarily be.”
He continued, “We need to sensitize people to the impact that they are having on their own health and their own environment. There needs to be more education so that people understand the implications of what they are doing. ”
Apparently, the US Ambassador is not the only Diplomat to raise concern over the issue. Filth, that have engulfed the city of Accra also caught the attention of Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, Andrew Barnes, who has asked Ghanaian authorities to up their game to meet President Akufo-Addo’s promise to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa by 2020.
The High Commissioner, who appeared shocked with the filth very close to the High Commission in Cantonments, took to Twitter to vent his frustration.
In a bid to draw the government’s attention to correct the situation, the tweet read: “The scene this morning in the street near our High Commission: encourage the local authorities to step up their effort to meet the President’s @flagstaffghana promise to make #Accra the cleanest city in #Africa by 2020. #sanitation.”
With the hoping of eradicating filth in the country and especially open defecation, Ambassador Jackson disclosed a collaboration between the USAID and a Ghanaian company, he did not disclose, to make available “affordable” latrines/toilet facilities to various homes.
“We’re making some end ropes.” He resolved.