Let’s deal with sanitation and waste management adequately

BY: The Mirror
We must deal with sanitation and waste management decisively
We must deal with sanitation and waste management decisively

One of the major challenges developing countries are battling with is the issue of sanitation and waste management.

This has been compounded by rapid urbanisation, which has put pressure on land for development by individuals and businesses.

In many cities in these developing countries, rapid urban growth has far outpaced the capacity of local authorities to provide basic services, including adequate drainage systems.

In effect, the authorities are overwhelmed by the situation due to lack of transparency and accountability in governance.

The scene in most of these cities, especially the poor neighbourhoods, is one of poor roads, choked drains, leading to flooding when it rains, and a general sense of an unkempt environment.

Our lead story on page three vividly describes what residents of Dome Born Again, a community at Dome, Accra, have been battling with for months now.

According to the story, the actions of a landlady are holding the whole community to ransom.

The property owner has blocked an inlet she claims some residents of the area have connected to her gutter, which floods her house anytime there is a downpour.

Her actions have led to a portion of the road at Dome Junction that connects to Taifa being filled with stagnant water, which has rendered the road impassable for both commuters and drivers.

This is also causing discomfort for the members of the community.

This phenomenon of certain individuals holding entire communities hostage due to their actions and inactions has become very common, and the earlier something is done about it, the better.

People block major roads and use sections for their own programmes, while others dispose of refuse and waste on our roads, without ever getting arrested. We have come to a point where nobody seems to care about his or her fellow human being — the I-must-only-look-for-my -interest mentality.

This situation paints a broader picture of poor planning in our cities which leads to the perennial floods.

People have built haphazardly.

There must be coordination in the built environment, such that drainage designers are always working hand-in-hand with building and road contractors to put an end to this problem once and for all.

As much as The Mirror does not want to lay the blame squarely on the doorstep of the landlady, we are of the view that she could have come to some form of arrangement with landowners in the area, so they can all help rescue the situation before it got to this point.

Living in peace with members of our community is something we must all cherish, by way of helping one another to succeed.

You may not know when you will need someone’s help.

So while commending the Ga East Municipal Assembly (GEMA) and its engineers for showing interest in the situation, we think they must look at the issue critically and meet all those affected to be able to find a lasting solution to it.

The Mirror also takes this opportunity to advise those who have been asked to remove their properties to pave way for the road and drainage system in the area to heed the call.

It must, however, be noted that the key point in all of this is a change in attitude.

We expect that the community folk will keep clean the drain that will be constructed for them, otherwise, they will be back to the same challenges in less than no time.

Our local authorities must also be transparent and accountable in their day-to-day activities. This will help cure some of these challenges before they become serious problems.

As Ghana’s foremost family newspaper, The Mirror will continue to promote cleanliness in our communities to ensure sound and healthy families always.

We, therefore, want to assure the GEMA and other local authorities that we will continue to monitor what they are doing to help grow our communities.