You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2014 11 29Article 337157

Opinions of Saturday, 29 November 2014

Columnist: Arkhurst, Archibold Ebo

Where men trade, vultures parade

Actually I had wanted to use a more direct phrasing for my title than what it reads above however knowing that this is a worldwide forum, I would rather be magnanimous in the representation of my beloved country. But, truth is one and paradoxically doesn’t taste better when it’s diluted, so never dare would I do so.

Until the invasion of online marketplaces, people literally flock markets to shop for items they desire. One is likely to get whatsoever is on his item list so far as he can transport himself to popular physical and local markets in Accra like Agbogbloshie, Kaneshie, Kasoa, Mallam-Atta and Sakaman (Mallam) markets. Nonetheless in talking about poor sanitation which embodies bad air quality, noise pollution, incorrect market design etc, Sakaman market is nothing to write home about; an observation I many as well have made.

Factually, all the local markets in this country have got this common sanitation problem but Sakaman market is now tantamount to a dumpsite, not too far from Macarthy Hill where the Mayor of the capital resides. It’s a matter of great urgency and the appropriate agencies must step in to remedy the situation lest there be an outbreak of cholera again in the capital starting predominantly from Sakaman-Mallam area. Why do I say so?

Any normal human being with a sharp olfactory system travelling on the Kasoa-Mallam road would have to always cap his palm to cover the nostril to save him from inhaling highly harmful malodorous smell emanating from the Sakaman market especially when trekking or using an open window vehicle. The fetid scent is sickening to say the least; and I wonder how traders are able to cope with several hours of having to do business in such serious condition which should have since prompted the overlord of the nation’s capital to swift remedial actions that could deal with the scrap dealers and vulture infested dumpsite rightly behind the market.

Let us not be oblivious of the fact that the cumulative effect of natural and man-made particulates can damage people's health; hence the need to stop the open burning of consumer waste and e-waste most importantly during the day owing to the harmful gases like nitrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide etc, released into the atmosphere at the peril of precious human life. Let’s not wait for the worst to happen before we respond as we always do as a nation that’s seemingly bereft of strong institutions and personnel’s, needed to addresses issues of such nature. The health of the struggling market women and consumers must be protected. Therefore I urge the powers that be to address this issue as soon as possible with the urgency it requires.

Finally, let government swiftly create new landfills in and around Greater Accra as alternatives to the already existing ones so as to give waste management agencies better options in disposing off their waste. Contrary to the claims of some bigwigs at AMA that there isn’t any available land for dumpsite purposes, I believe that since it’s not too difficult for private estate developers to easily secure lands for their realty businesses, the government of Ghana must not struggle at all to get some landfill-suitable lands within the region. And this must be possibly replicated in other regions as well. Let’s not be a people who finds excuse to be irresponsible. For what is the essence of urbanizing a city through estate development while neglecting the poor environmental condition in which the citizens abide?