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Regional News of Monday, 12 January 2009

Source: GNA

Kumasi residents worried over poor environmental sanitation

Kumasi, Jan. 12, GNA - Some residents in the Kumasi have expressed grave concern about the deteriorating environmental situation in the metropolis. They also expressed discontent about congestion in the city which tends to create confusion at the central business district daily.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Kumasi, the residents some of whom are business operators, referred specifically to unrestricted sale of goods on every available space such as walkways, pavements, streets and at the frontage of the central market.

Mr Kwaku Sakyi, a businessman described the situation as "chaotic" and said the total confusion in front of the central market was worrisome and frustrating. He said the situation was gradually getting out-of-hand and there was the need for immediate steps to be taken by the city authorities to arrest the situation.

A visit to some of the areas by the GNA saw several hawkers, vendors and petty traders, who had virtually taken over walkways and pavements, displaying all kinds of items including edibles. At some places, pedestrians have little or no space at all to walk hence had to find alternative routes to get to their destinations. Motorists coming out of the Kejetia main lorry station for instance had to contend with a single lane since the other half of the lane had been taken over by the hawkers causing serious traffic congestion.

Refuse were seen heaped on the streets while liquid wastes disposed of in gutters. The residents said the stench emanating from these refuse dumps was posing serious health hazards to them. Again because wastes have been left for a long time, they had attracted swarm of flies, birds such as vultures and crows hovering in the skies all day long and at times congregate on the roofs of houses of residents in the affected areas.

Meanwhile, GNA's further investigations have shown that the KMA is indebted to refuse contractors in the metropolis, hence the neglect of the wastes. There is the need for urgent efforts to address the situation to avoid possible catastrophe in the metropolis.