Take a stroll through the principal streets of our major cities and towns in our country daily and you are likely to be greeted with heaps of refuse, dumped along various sections of the road, with its musky smell polluting all the corridors of the environment. Isn’t it worrying to see such unpleasant scenes in our capital cities, market squares, lorry parks,and other public places? Have we ever thought about the consequences that will befall us as nation if this activity is to continue? Can we find lasting solutions to this problem? There is the need for us to strive higher and reverse this horrific situation.
Negative attitude of some Ghanaians , inadequate centralized places of disposing filth, lackadaisical attitudes of some organization and institutions responsible for disposingrubbish ,etc are few causes that make rise to poor sanitation in our country.
It is very clear that a major challenge facing the various Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies is depositing sites where the waste generated from the public domain could be disposed. This is a major reason why we usually see heaps of trash ‘decorating’ our public centers. The various Assemblies do not know where to send these filth and as a result, leave them there until other alternatives are sought. This situation is worrying-some ,especially where the the piled-up refuse is situated closer to a market place. The dangers it poses to human life and health is quite threatening. This will continue to be a threat and a major challenge to the various assemblies so far as we refuse to think outside the box. The irony part of this whole situation is, that the task force assigned to take money from hawkers and market women and issue a ticket to them do not compromise in delivering their duty. They get to the latter to exhaust the monies from the poor tomatoes seller, the ice water seller,the roasted plantain seller, the ‘koko’ and ‘koose’ seller, among others in aid of keeping the environment and the entire country clean. What do we see then? The converse is what happens. Who is accountable for the monies collected ? Why then do these market women have to sit in the refuse and sell their wears although they have faithfully adhered to their part of the contract? We can go on and ask these questions, over and over and over again and we may never get the answers we need. Some heads must certainly roll at the various MMD’s Assemblies in other to curb this striking challenge.
Another reason that significantly contributes to the poor sanitation in Ghana is the negative attitudes of some Ghanaians. As illiterate as some of us are,blindly throw rubbish anywhere, anyhow and at anytime. Filth ranging from water sachets, to polythene bags, food containers and carriers, plastic bottles, canned drinks , papers, food items,etc are almost found everywhere especially in our so called big cities and towns. Conversely, sanitation in our villages and small towns are quite commendable as compared to the the major trading towns where we assume its residents are highly civilized. The worse form is found in our beloved National Capital, Accra and her trading partner-Kumasi. This situation is very alarming and stringent measures should be put in place to check this.
We do not need a soothsayers advice before we desist from such acts as its effects is very frightening and turns out to be a punishment in return. I am not amaze at the rate at which we get infected with malaria and cholera in our country. Statistics have shown that in every year, about …………. People are stroked down by these two dreadful diseases of which about …..people, both adults and youngsters loosing their lives. What can be more risky and menacing than something which causes others to loose their lives?
On another instance, flooding which we are cognizant with in our various regional capitals and towns in Ghana could not attributed to a natural phenomenon, but poor sanitation in Ghana. We do experience such situations because of our own careless attitudes. We dispose trash everywhere including water pits and drains. As a result of this, the water is not able to move freely as it should when it rains. The gutters eventually get chocked, making the water to overflow its bounds and automatically causes the entire place to flood. We are very much aware of the effects flooding has go on our lives and properties and we should not joke wit h such pertinent issues.
In our quest to maintain a clean and civic environment, it behooves all of us to perform our quota of responsibilities to ensure this. The government ,, the various Metropolitan, Municipal,and District Assemblies and the ordinary Ghanaian has got major task to play so our dream of having a clean and synthesized environment would materialize.
The government in her quest to put a stop to this should enact restrictive laws about sanitation and should keenly make sure that they are enforced to the latter. On another breadth, the government should make sure that all funds allocated to the various assemblies would be sent in time so those portioned for sanitation would also be used adequately to bring effective results.
The MMD’s Assemblies should also try their possible best to find lasting solutions to how refuse could be displaced. They can result to these modern technologies available in recycling waste to the benefit of the citizenry so this issue of sites for disposing refuse wouldn’t be news anymore. To our dear countrymen and citizens, Ghana is for all of us . And we decide on what and how our country should be. If we want Ghana to attain greater heights in development and sanitation, it is our sole responsibility to eschew all negative attitudes we have in regards to sanitation. Let us proceed in truth and unity to make our nation proud.
RAYNOLDS NYARKO DARKWAH
UNIVERSITY OF GHANA-LEGON.