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General News of Sunday, 26 June 2016

Source: thefinderonline.com

Osu cemetery turned into refuse dump

Osu cemetery, one of the final resting places in the city for the dead, has currently been turned into a defecation and dumping site.

In an interview, Mr William Totimeh, the sexton at the cemetery, expressed worry over the filth in the cemetery.

“Since there is no night worker in the cemetery, residents near and afar take advantage of that and jump over the wall at night to defecate here,” he lamented. “They also dispose of rubbish over the wall when we have closed from work”, Mr Totimeh added.

According to him, unregistered waste collectors, locally known as ‘bola men’ or ‘kaya bola’ also contribute to the filth.

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) is the authority in charge of the cemetery’s management. For this reason, he said, the AMA is informed of the state of the cemetery.

In an interaction with some residents in the vicinity about their waste management, it came to light that not all homes have toilet facilities.

Also, some homes have registered with the accredited waste management contractor, Jakora, whilst others have not.

However, speaking to The Finder, Dr S.A. Boateng, the Director of the Metro Public Health Department, confirmed that the AMA is aware of the poor sanitation at the cemetery.

He stated that there are measures that have been put in place to address the situation.

“The Environmental Health Officers go round to ensure that every home has at least one toilet facility and has registered with the accredited waste management contractor, Jakora,” he stated. “People who fail to register in due course will be prosecuted,” he emphasised.

He added that they have assigned a taskforce team to arrest anyone who is caught defecating or disposing of rubbish in the cemetery and also destroy the truck of any ‘kaya bola’ driver who is caught dumping refuse at the site.

The public is, therefore, entreated to report individuals who indulge in indiscriminate dumping of refuse at unauthorised places to the AMA.

“By doing this, they assist us to prosecute culprits just as the public assist the police’’, noted Mr Bernard Brocke, Assistant Director IIA of the Metro Public Health Department.

To penalise culprits, Mr Brock said, “Act 462, 1993 section 79 empowers Metro Municipal and District Assembly to enact by-laws which are enforceable to govern behaviour”.

He added that the by-laws allow the assemblies to prosecute people who indiscriminately litter the community.

However, Mr Brocke revealed that “penalty for sanitation offences are not deterrent enough because they are outmoded and need to be reviewed”.

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