Six dumpsites in the Accra metropolis and other municipalities in the city have been shut down on the directives of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources.
The shutdown is part of the government’s agenda to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa and also improve sanitation conditions at the places where the sites are located.
Environmental challenges associated with waste generation and inadequate waste collection, transport, treatment and disposal are a daunting task for governments the world over.
Current waste disposal systems in the major cities, especially Accra, cannot cope with the volumes of waste generated by an increasing urban population and this impacts negatively on the environment and public health.
Managing the city’s waste is a test of the government’s quest to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa, as piles of refuse have engulfed some markets and communities in the city.
Indeed, waste management in Accra has become a key part of the campaign promise of political parties as city authorities struggle to cope with the more than 2,000 tonnes of waste generated by residents daily.
It is against this background that the Daily Graphic welcomes the move by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to shut down dumpsites located at the Mallam Market, Dansoman Glefe, Bawaleshie, Adedenkpo at James Town, Mpraeso, which is close to the University of Ghana, Legon, and the Trinity site, located near the Trinity Theological Seminary or the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA).
To ensure proper waste management control, the government must begin enforcing public patronage of the National Sanitation Day (first Saturday of every new month), which is waning woefully due to non-enforcement.
Daily sanitary inspection, during which environmental health inspectors conduct house-to-house inspection of potential waste generation centres, such as households, institutions, markets, medical facilities and other places of abode, to check on adherence to sanitation byelaws should be revived.
Offenders should be prosecuted and slapped with huge fines or even serve jail terms to serve as deterrent to others.
Again, the Daily Graphic suggests that the city authorities pay more attention to inspection and the enforcement of its byelaws on every National Sanitation Day.
We also note with concern the nuisance that unlicensed waste collection tricycles have been causing in the city. Steps should be taken to regulate their operations.
Achieving a clean city cannot be possible if residents of Accra do not change their attitude towards the storage and disposal of their household waste. It must be emphasised that without a change of attitude, it will be impossible to achieve the vision that we have set for ourselves.
It is the view of the Daily Graphic that in addition to being clean, Accra must also look attractive always to give residents and visitors a sense of pride.
This is because beautiful cities attract talents, investments and economic activities, thereby increasing their unique contribution to nations’ GDP.
Making Accra the cleanest city in Africa is a realistic and achievable vision, but it requires the concerted effort of all to make that happen.