AMA to get tough with sanitation offenders

BY: Juliet Akyaa Safo

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has issued a warning to landlords and shop owners in the metropolis to keep their surroundings clean or face prosecution.

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The notice, according to the Metropolitan Coordinating Director, Mr Samuel Ayeh-Dateh, formed part of efforts the assembly was making to enforce sanitation bye-laws in the metropolis, as well as ensure that residents of the metropolis took interest in the National Sanitation Day (NSD) programme.

Mr Ayeh-Dateh made the statement when he led a team of health inspectors and officials from the AMA on an inspection tour of some suburbs of the metropolis.

Places visited included New Fadama, Abeka, Lapaz and Nii Boi Town.


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The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development instituted the NSD to urge the citizenry to see the need to keep the environment clean as a national call to duty.

Lack of interest

Mr Ayeh-Dateh described the lack of interest in the NSD by majority of residents of Accra as “unfortunate and worrying’’.

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“We observe low turnout in activities on NSDs and such negative attitude is not doing the city and the nation any good, hence the decision to enforce sanitation bye-laws this time around.

“We believe that when people are punished severely for unhygienic practices, it will serve as a deterrent to others,” he said.

Enforcement process

Speaking to journalists after the inspection, Mr Ayeh-Dateh said the assembly would focus on the sub-metros in its sanitation drive, adding that “Health inspectors have already begun daily inspections.”

He stated that as part of the assembly’s plans, it would demolish unauthorised structures set up by traders, including kiosks that served as places of abode for some residents.

He called on the media and other stakeholders, in the drive to keep the city clean, to intensify education on sanitation as a means of addressing challenges with the environment.

Observations

A drive through the Makola market area during the last NSD exercise showed massive public disregard for the day’s activities as shops were opened for business.

Although situated close to the offices of the AMA, most traders and business concerns could not be bothered by an order given by the assembly for all shops and businesses to remain closed until midday.

The Presiding Member of the AMA, Mr Thomas Mustapha Ashong, has, under the circumstances, cautioned the public to comply with the directives of the assembly in order to avoid prosecution.