The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has amended its 1995 bye-laws to offer stiffer punishments for culprits, to serve as a deterrent to would-be offenders and the citizenry.
The document which was gazetted on 25th January, 2019 was promulgated in accordance with Section 181 of the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936) in December, 2017, and approved by the Minister for Local Government.
The new regulatory framework has a total of 37 bye-laws which spells out a comprehensive information on offences and sanctions compared to the 1995 bye-laws.
Provisions of the 2017 bye-laws include Business Operating Permit bye-law , Self Employed bye-law, Numbering of Premises bye-law, Control of Animals bye-law, Sanitation bye-law , Cleaning bye-law, Temporary Structure bye-law, Operation of Commercial Vehicles bye-law as well as Push Trucks bye-law.
The rest are Porters bye-law, Control of Hawkers bye-law, Urban Passenger Transport Services bye-law, Communicable Disease bye-law, Births And Deaths Registration bye-law, as well as Control of Dogs bye-law, Building/ Physical Development bye-law, Maintenance of Premises bye-law and Environmental Protection bye-law.
While some offences in the old bye laws attracted lesser sanctions, a person who contravenes provisions in the new bye-laws, is liable on summary conviction to a fine, not more than one hundred penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not less than thirty days and not more than six months or to both; and in case of a continuing offence, is liable to a fine of not more than one penalty unit for each day that the offence is committed.
Last year the Assembly arrested and prosecuted 2,473 people for dumping of refuse indiscriminately, openly defecating and urinating, discharging effluent into drains and non-availability of toilet facilities in their homes.
Meanwhile, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has cautioned citizens to stop littering, warning that culprits caught would be arrested and prosecuted.
Delivering his third state of the nation address in Parliament on Thursday, 21 February 2019, the President said government intends to use the bye-laws to enforce cleanliness.