Over the years, we have tried albeit unsuccessful to fight the menace of rampant disposal of waste. The former vice-president, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, started the campaign against indiscipline.
The campaign only lasted for as long as he was in government. Upon the exit of his government and the coming into office of the new administration, efforts were made, including instituting the national sanitation day, which was to be observed on the first Saturday of every month.
First declared on November 1, 2014 in response to the 2014 cholera outbreak, the day is a voluntary clean-up exercise for all Ghanaian residents in an effort to reduce unsanitary conditions that breed diseases and causes injuries.
The same attitude that we have always approached national issues was applied to this one. It became a political tool to be exploited by politicians, and so the then opposition, stayed away from taking part.
At the inception of this administration, president Akufo-Addo, promised to make Accra, the cleanest city in Africa.
Almost three years after that declaration, the situation, has exacerbated, despite efforts to stem the menace.
A clean environment is not only a healthy environment, but also an attractive and desirable one. However, the indiscriminate disposal of waste has become commonplace in Ghana, a habit that negates all that is good, regarding efforts to imbibe the tenets of healthy living. Sadly, the practice is so rampant that it has become the norm.
Plastic bottles, nylon bags and paper bags, are scattered everywhere one turns to, and they are accumulated to become heaps of refuse dotting the landscape even in residential areas with all the attendant dangers to public health.
As a newspaper, we believe there is an urgent need for Ghana, to begin to take the issue of indiscriminate disposal of waste as an emergency situation that needs to be curbed.
We have set aside courts to deal with crime in all form; we have set aside courts to sit every Saturday to deal with electricity theft and cable theft, etc, what is preventing us from establishing sanitation court to deal with indiscriminate disposal of waste.
About a month ago, a video of a woman who was dumping refuse into the drain during a rainfall went viral, the whole country condemned the act, but how many of us are not guilty of what the woman did.
In the past we had ‘samasama’ from the town council, who went round our communities, when we hear they are coming, everyone runs scared, but since the advent of democracy, the ‘samasama’ has been abandoned.
Ghanaians should be educated on waste management and the government should put in place efficient waste disposal practices that everyone must adhere to.
In conclusion, strict penalties should be meted out to offenders caught violating waste management regulations