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General News of Sunday, 21 January 2018

Source: primenewsghana.com

Disheartening state of sanitation in Accra

Filthy gutter opposite Paloma Hotel

The state of sanitation in Accra is increasingly becoming disheartening by the day and continue to pose serious health threats to residents of the Capital and an embarrassment to the Country in general.

Opposite the luxurious Paloma Hotel at the Ring Road Central, lies the handiwork of unidentified citizens, a huge gutter well-known to commuters of that road for its inescapable stench and tons of waste materials.

Walking past the tarred path beside the gutter, one will notice an unsightly addition. The gutter we all knew was usually filled with dirty water from drainage pipes, plastic waste, and human excreta, all contributing to its complicated smell.

However, it appears certain unscrupulous persons have deliberately turned the place into a dumping site for all their plastic waste, thus worsening its condition.

Numerous plastic bottles (all sizes, including 5gallon bottles), ‘pure water’ sachets, takeaway packs, polythene bags and all types of waste have choked the gutter which was initially filled with lesser waste.

The new addition appears as though the dumping was done very recently, probably from mobile rubbish collectors or residents who have been dropping the waste consistently for about two weeks.

The scene, which is nothing but an eyesore seems not to have caught the attention of people, especially those living and selling within the area. It is also surprising to note that opposite the gutter is the plush Paloma Hotel, and a few meters from the gutter are several food vendors and restaurants including Bus Stop, Eddy’s Pizza, etc.

It is rather unfortunate that the same gutter and area gets severely flooded any time there are heavy rains in the capital. Yet when the floods set in, residents will be quick to blame government for not dredging the gutters.

On June 3rd,2015, the entire nation was thrown into a state of shock following a heavy downpour, flooding and a gas explosion that claimed the lives of over 150 people. Improper disposal of waste and unsanitary conditions was one of the notable causes of the floods that killed several Ghanaians.

The big question is, how did all that waste get there? It certainly could not have been the work of one individual; one way or the other, almost every person, living in, around or even using those routes are to blame. Every piece of waste signifies how irresponsible one person was by leaving their garbage at an unauthorized place and how corrupt the witness was in covering up the shameful act.

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly in its efforts to make Accra one of the cleanest cities in Africa is currently embarking on a decongestion exercise to oust all street vendors, however, there is much left to do in ensuring better sanitary conditions in the city.

Stringent measures need to be taken against any found culprits to serve as a deterrent to others. Again, residents, businesses and traders around those areas must be held responsible for their various surroundings. Public education and awareness of good sanitation practices should be intensified. The laws on sanitation must also be enforced to the letter without fear or favour.