Filth in the city: will making Accra the cleanest city ever be possible?  

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By Lara Barbara Ofori

When the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was sworn into office, one promise he made to Ghanaians was that he was going to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa. Sadly, this promise has not been achieved by the President as he is still battling to solve the filthy nature of our cities.

Accra, the capital city of the country, for years, has been filled with filth, especially in our market centres and on our roads. Most of the filth end up in gutters, causing them to be chocked, which prevents the flow of rain water, thus causing flooding.

Fulfilling promise

The President, in his bid to fulfill his promise to Ghanaians, with the help of the right authorities, has provided refuse bins at vantage points within the city to avoid the indiscriminate dumping of refuse around. Also there are refuse collectors employed to go round and ensure that every morning the refuse bins are emptied. Others have also been employed to sweep the streets on daily basis to ensure they are clean.

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During the three weeks of lockdown, which prevented movement of people within the capital city and other areas, the neat streets of Accra could not go unnoticed since there was no pressure on the roads.

Also, less human activities, which would cause filth, were absent on the streets. During this time, state authorities such as the National Disaster and Management Organisation (NADMO) and district authorities took advantage of the situation to clean the streets of Accra.

Just weeks after the lockdown, the city is filled with filth all over again. Taking a walk through our market centres, one will notice heaps of refuse at various locations and these traders sit in this filth and ply their trade.

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Speaking with some market women, some of them are of the view that they have paid levies to authorities and as such the various assemblies should provide people responsible for sweeping and collecting the refuse in the market centres so they can come and sit in clean surroundings every day.

Not a one man fight

One thing worth noting is that the President’s promise of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa does not rest solely on his shoulders.

As citizens, and not spectators, the onus is equally on us, and not just on us, but most importantly begins with us to help the President achieve the vision.

We should be patriotic, play our part and let matters of the country be of concern to us. Yes, people have been employed to ensure the city is clean but they are not solely responsible to ensure this. We as citizens have a part to play. Let us endeavour to dispose of refuse at the right and designated places and when in town, let us avoid throwing our plastic waste around.

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Before dropping your waste on the floor, think of the negative effect it could bring and the harm that could cause.

As such, look for a refuse bin at a vantage point and drop your waste into it, or better still keep it in your bag till you get home or locate a bin. When in a commercial vehicle, don’t throw refuse onto the street, rather drop it into the vehicle.

Let us all rally behind the President and help make Accra the neatest city in Africa. Accra becoming neat starts from you and me. Let us all be patriotic citizens, as the President said in his inaugural speech, “let us be citizens and not spectators”.

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