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Opinions of Monday, 13 January 2014

Columnist: Oben, Nana

The longer Vanderpuije stays as mayor the stinkier .....

The longer alfred vanderpuije stays as mayor the stinkier ACCRA GETS

I and a lot of people, especially the diaspora Ghanaians were elated when Alfred Vanderpuije was appointed mayor of Accra. We thought, with his background, he would at least stem the filth and stench that engulf our capital city, Accra, even if he could not accomplish all the other “miracles” we were hoping for. Of course there are some “miracles” even the hardest working mayor cannot do alone without the cooperation of his assembly members, the police, and the central government. There are others that I’m sure are within the Mayor’s scope of work, authority, and budgetary constraints.

During the reign of Alfred Vanderpuije, INDISCIPLINE has been the norm. Almost ALL Central Accra streets have become markets. Kiosks of various sizes, shapes, colour, etc. litter along almost every street. Truck drivers park their articulated trucks along the sides of ANY straight road, especially the George Bush highway around the Achimota overpass. Mind you, the Tesano police station is no more than a kilometer away. Most of the city’s OPEN gutters are blocked in places, resulting in the ever increasing landscape of GREEN COLOURED, FILTHY, STINKING STANDING WATERS IN OVERGROWN OPEN GUTTERS THAT HAVE BECOME BREDING GROUNDS OF MOSQUITOES, FROGS, WORMS, YOU NAME IT. The irony is, instead of our government eliminating (or at least minimizing) these mosquitoes breeding grounds, it is rather partnering Bill Gates to DEVELOP and EXPERIMENT malaria vaccines on US, POOR ARICANS.

Mr. Vanderpuije, based on your EXPERIENCE and qualifications, the government appointed you for this job with a job description, the resources and institutional support to enable you accomplish it ALL; So I can’t understand why, with the police at your disposal, Central Accra will be a filthy market place; articulated trucks will be dangerously parked on the shoulders of our highways when a few heavy fines will solve the problem. Yes, you have occasionally mounted some “clean up” exercises which have raised the wrath of some affected citizens. But you do have a JOB to do! That is to return Accra to the semblance of THE COUNTRY’S CAPITAL CITY.

Accra is teeming with UNEMPLOYED YOUTHS, MEN AND WOMEN; SO I CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHY OUR OPEN GUTTERS ARE CHOKED, GROWING SHRUBS, AND BREEDING MOSQUITOES. In many areas, just manually removing blockages will restore the flow. Just how much will it cost to hire these unemployed who are desperately looking for jobs, to unplug, these blocked gutters? In other areas, all that it will take is a short sub-surface inter connection of one choked gutter to a larger flowing one, as in the case of Tesano near St Anne’s Preparatory school and Global Evangelical Headquarters.

I understand (I stand to be corrected)Kigali of Rwanda (in spite of their recent history) may be the “CLEANEST” city in sub-Sahara Africa. Please GO THERE AND LEARN THEIR METHODS AND TATICS. For example, NO PLASTIC bags are allowed. Yes, Accra’s roads and highways may be the responsibility of Roads and Highways, but they ARE IN YOUR CITY. Road signs (e.g. TO CAPE COAST) at the appropriate turn offs on the George Bush Highway will eliminate the confusion and possible dangers at that turn off

Mr. Mayor, we have watched our city, Accra getting filthier, and more stinking under your watch. You need to occasionally take a tour of YOUR city, and experience the stench ALL over the place. We hope you will then transfer some of your MANAGEMENT EXPERTISE from South Carolina TO THIS YOUR JOB IN ACCRA.