RE: Danger looms at Osu Anehor over sanitation challenges
Poor waste disposal habits by citizens remains Accra's main challenge in dealing with the sanitation situation. It is clear from the video in circulation that residents admit they are the primary cause of the problem. Apart from the old lady who advocated for whistleblowing, all the others interviewed including the journalist placed intervention at the doorstep of the AMA. Not even the journalist encouraged good sanitation practices among the citizenry.
The debris shown in the video was cleared within 48 hours of its accumulation and it is a situation that is receiving urgent attention due to its implications for the surrounding communities. The Accra drainage network as it stands collects waste from upstream which end up in major storm drains including the London Market drain, Osu Anehor drain et al. The Korle Lagoon, Kpeshie Lagoon et al are the major banks that receive the waste. What happens is that when it rains all manner of waste is washed down from upstream, and all the debris accumulate in the main storm drain leading to the sea.
To deal with the debris situation, the AMA drains maintenence gang are scheduled to regularly remove debris in all the Accra drains. Of course the challenge is enormous, but the City authority is focused on a lasting and sustainable intervention. Meanwhile, the current measure has proven to be effective in the short term considering the exigencies of the situation.
The AMA subsidized household toilet provision requires beneficiaries to pay 30% whilst government bears the remaining 70%. Also, the recent aggressive enforcement of sanitation byelaws by AMA which has resulted in the conviction of over hundreds of sanitation offenders serves as a deterrent to those who make excuses to break the law.
Proactive involvement of citizenry is crucial. We urge the media to note that the clean Accra agenda is a shared responsibility. They should step up their education campaign, demand accountability from the Assemblies and admonish city dwellers to be responsible. The Clean Accra Agenda is a shared responsibility.
Gilbert Nii Ankrah
Head of Public Affairs (AMA)