Sustainability key in national sanitation effort

BY: Daily Graphic

Throughout the year, the Graphic/Zoomlion sanitation campaign train has traversed the entire country, preaching the good news about environmental cleanliness.

Indeed, every regional capital, from Accra to Wa, has, at some point, played host to the campaign team, whose focus has always been to garner support from residents to sustain the National Sanitation Campaign.

While we laud the paramount chiefs who have not only joined in by urging residents to ensure that their surroundings are clean at all times but also actually led in the clean-up exercises that have marked the campaign, same cannot be said about the overall participation of residents of the various towns and cities.

It is heartbreaking that at some places, while the Graphic/Zoomlion team led in the clean-up, with support from the security services, residents stood by unconcerned, with some people even asking for inducement before taking part.

The Daily Graphic is very saddened by that nonchalant attitude of some residents, who think that cleaning up and ensuring that their surroundings are always clean is rather the job of other people.

That attitude makes nonsense of all the education that has gone on regarding environmental cleanliness, especially during the sanitation dialogues that have been an integral part of the year-long campaign.

Our streets and surroundings are still very much unkempt and it will take all of us to be cleanliness-conscious to make Ghana the clean country that we want it to become.

The Daily Graphic doffs its hat to key institutions and individuals in the Savannah Region, such as the Regional Office of Zoomlion, the Environmental and Sanitation Department, the Savannah Regional Coordinating Council and some assembly members, who have pledged to support and sustain the clean-up exercise.

We find the pledge made, when the campaign train stopped at Damongo, to make the clean-up exercise a routine activity and also increase the sensitisation effort to encourage the citizenry to clean their surroundings very laudable.

That is all that the national campaign seeks to do — to get the buy-in of all residents of those areas and, by extension, the entire population of Ghana.

For the efforts and resources put in by the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) and Zoomlion Ghana Limited (ZGL) to sensitise the public and encourage the culture of cleaning the environment not to go waste and also help reduce the incidence of preventable diseases, the clean-up campaigns must be sustained in every community.

Not only that; there should be a conscious effort by all and sundry to desist from littering, even if the communities are going to embark on weekly clean-up exercises.

That way, we will succeed in making our communities not only clean and livable but also pleasant to promote the well-being of all residents and visitors alike.

When there is no litter to clean up, we will then be able to put in plans for beautification, as pertains in those jurisdictions everyone loves to visit regularly because of their aesthetic beauty.

Community leaders, sergeants at arms, assembly members, chiefs, market queens and, indeed, all leaders in the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) owe it to the citizenry to put in long-lasting measures to ensure that our environments are always spick and span.

Our assemblies must evoke their bye-laws that have been sitting idle in their statute books; our sanitation courts must be made busy by sanctioning offenders to serve as a deterrent to flouters; MMDAs must provide dustbins and communal refuse bins everywhere and ensure the timely collection of refuse, while waste management companies must be up and doing and the citizenry must do well to pay their bills, so that their waste is collected.

Ultimately, there must be a culture of proper disposal of waste everywhere, so that we are not engulfed by the residue of what we use.

Let’s all join hands to sustain the national effort to make Ghana the cleanest country in Africa.