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AMA prosecutes 115 people for sanitation offences

BY: Juliet Akyaa Safo
Elizabeth Sackey (in hat), Chief Executive of the AMA, at the Accra central business district
Elizabeth Sackey (in hat), Chief Executive of the AMA, at the Accra central business district

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has prosecuted 115 persons for flouting sanitation bye-laws between January and March this year.

The offences include dumping of waste into drains, burning of refuse in residential areas, and keeping insanitary drains in front of residential premises.

Others were also indicted for non-registration with accredited waste collectors, overgrowth of weeds in their surroundings, lack of household toilets, and open defecation.

Some, mainly food vendors, were also prosecuted for lack of sanitation reports, suitability, health and safety certificate, preparing and selling food under unhygienic conditions, and lack of food handlers certificates.

The Chief Executive of the AMA, Elizabeth Sackey, disclosed this after she paid a working visit to the central business district of Accra.

She said during the first quarter, 345 summons were obtained from a sanitation court at La, out of which 304 were successfully served as offenders.

“Twelve cases have been adjourned, with nine bench warrants yet to be effected. Also, 168 of the cases are still pending,” she said.

Bye-laws

Mrs Sackey said the prosecution formed part of ongoing measures to enforce bye-laws to ensure a clean city.

She pointed out that it was an offence under the bye-laws if a person failed to keep the drains in front of their premises clean and provide a standard container for refuse storage.

Other offences, she said, included using the services of an unregistered solid or liquid waste contractor, discharging effluent into the open drains, operating a public or commercial toilet without a valid permit, defecating in the open drains, or dumping of solid and liquid waste in open spaces, drains, or burn solid waste on one's compound.

Mrs Sackey reiterated the assembly's commitment to enforce its bye-laws to deter would-be offenders.

She also urged residents to be responsible towards the environment, adding that the Public Health Department would undertake regular household routine checks to ensure that the metropolis was clean.