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Opinions of Sunday, 23 September 2018

Columnist: dailyguideafrica.com

Our gutters still uncovered

We are constrained to return to the subject of Accra’s antiquated drainage system. It is unacceptable that so many years after independence, our gutters are not covered.

We have had cause to editorialise on this subject on a number of times – this being the umpteenth but so far no response has been forthcoming from the relevant agencies.

Ghana has moved on from the days of Governors Rowe or even Rodger’s Gold Coast when gutters could be left open. After all, those were early days and covered gutters could not have been a priority for the colonial masters.

Today, though we have advanced as a nation from the day when the Union Jack was lowered for a fluttering Ghana flag, yet the pre-independence gutters still serving some parts of Accra remained uncovered including the additions.

Let them consider the subject of covered gutters as a matter of priority in the developmental agenda. Many positive reasons abound for such a feature. The eyesore which such open gutters constitute would be eliminated when they are covered and we too would be at par with the modern world. Harbouring colonial day features such as open gutters and night soil carriage; the latter now on its way out anyway, should be eliminated by all means.

With some efforts and additional funds for our budget, these gutters can be covered much to our relief. Perhaps some of communicable disease outbreaks can be traced to this blemish in our city management.

Covered gutters would add to our stature as a modern city or even country if we extend the coverage countrywide. Until that is done, let us see ourselves as semi-modern as we seek a means of reversing the status quo.

One way by which the plastic pollution can be managed is covering our gutters. This way, there would be no gaping spaces for irresponsible persons to dump their plastic into.

It is only when there is no place to dump plastic wastes and other domestic used products that people can be compelled to use garbage bins.

The fight against plastic pollution requires concerted and coordinated efforts such as the aforementioned suggestion.

We cannot latch on hopelessness and avoid doing anything to cover our gutters. The beautiful Accra skyline would be meaningless if the nation’s capital’s gutters with their sometime unbearable stench stand shoulder to shoulder with these architectural masterpieces.

We shall continue to remind the authorities about this development shortcoming because from all indications, they hardly consider covered gutters as a feature of development.

As we pointed out in a previous commentary, the Francophone countries such as Togo and Cote d’Ivoire have covered gutters because France, the colonial master, had a sincere indigenization policy which entailed running their colonial cities along the lines of Paris, Nice, Bordeaux and others among other features.

With the Brits, it was a different kettle of fish. Some features were not upgraded beyond their early characteristics and with successive indigenous governments not caring a hoot, here we are today with open gutters in a 2018 Ghana.