Regional News of Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Source: DSWAG

Kwahu Obomeng conferred cleanest in Ghana by DSWAG

The Ghana anti-water resources and environment pollution group, Drink Safe Water Advocacy has found in the search, cleanest town in the country to be Obomeng in the Kwahu South district and worthily conferred it's status today.

Executive Coordinator for DSWAG, Mr. Krobea Asante Tofepa Ntomentwene and his research team having been in the area between Thursday and Saturday said, they were amazed to see the level of discipline and commitment towards cleanliness in Obomeng township and apparently the open declaration of been cleanest.

Sunyani is best planned with streets, however, unbridled commercial activities renders it not clean as purported, many homes are without toilet facilities unlike Kwahu Obomeng which almost every home has an improved toilet facility.

A landfill site visited by DSWAG was as clean as a home, burning of waste is not allowed hence total air pollution controlled in this community.

Some community members interviewed confirmed to know the effect of burning and therefore do not set fire into the refuse collected at the landfill.

"Mosquitoes are not in our town, we sleep and don't cover ourselves unless against cold weather", Nana Effah Opinamang confirmed in a guided statement.

To verify claims, Mr. Krobea Asante and Ademang kept late outside before finally taking to rest in their guest rooms, however they confirmed having slept without interference and disturbance and bite of mosquitoes.

Ghana's capital Accra, and many communities in the country have been plagued with waste and subsequently been tagged, cause of water and filth related diseases such as malaria, cholera, meningitis amongst others.

To bring a solution to the menace, the President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo -Addo on 13th November, 2017 encouraged the observation of everyday as sanitation day.

He has also categorically stated his vision to make Accra cleanest city in Africa, this Drink Safe Water Group has described as most compelling, as 52 other countries that make up the African continent await to see in reality.

In many rural and peri -urban areas of Ghana, the situation is not different from the city as the problem of sanitation still lingers to be solved hollisticaly by an approach understood by the citizenry.

Several appeals, though have been made to improve sanitation by health professionals, educationists and the President, the situation remains unsolved as most people continue to throw waste anywhere, urinate and defecate in open places including classrooms, lorry parks and markets.

DSWAG in recent findings at the Kaneshie and Dome - Kwabenya markets in Accra revealed a devastating development of filth heaped at the markets and has called on substantive MMDCE's to attend to the situation to avert possible outbreak of epidemics.

Mr. Krobea Asante and a DSWAG Ambassador, Elder Fred Ademang Amui who have visited many rural communities including Ehiamankyene in the Fanteakwa South district, Klo - Agogo and Somanya in the Yilo Krobo municipalities compared state of sanitation in other parts of the country as presented by its Ambassadors in different regions said, Obomeng was not to be competed in anyway, in terms of absolute cleanliness.

The duo in consultation with its executives, and chairman, Mr. Issaka Amon Kotei, a local governance expert concluded that, the information on solid and liquid waste in Kwahu Obomeng was just enough to befit status of 'cleanest town' so far unless otherwise challenged with a proof by another group or individual.

"We stand to be corrected, but so far with what we have seen, recorded and verified, Kwahu Obomeng is in total lead of the nations quest to be clean and without agents of pollution", Mr. Krobea Asante reiterated.

Conferring the status, and present were the paramount Chief, Nana Effah Opinamang III, Nana Akuamoah Asomaning, Afenasoafohene, Opanyin Amoako and 3 other elders at the Palace.

Nana Effah Opinamang III in an acceptance address said, sanitation and safe drinking water were paramount to the community, and therefore periodic communal labour are organised to put the town in a safe position void of contaminants.

He added that, inhabitants of Obomeng have been made to understand the rigours of the laws and sanctions, failure to maintain ones immediate surroundings, and attend purposeful communal labour were punishable and therefore has contributed immensely to the findings uncovered by Drink Safe Water Advocacy Group.

Nana Effah bemoaned that, filth was a recipe for malaria, cholera and many other diseases in most parts of the country, and therefore do not allow Indicsipline and disregard for personal hygiene to be showcased in any form in the town.

This assertion was confirmed by DCE for Kwahu South district, Hon. Emmanuel Ofori Attah - Sikkens when group visited his residence.

According to him, the spirit of communal labour has long been instilled in the people during all his 6 years as an assembly member before his ascention to the highest office of a Chief Executive.

He thanked elders and the chief for their strong support, towards environmental protection and participation in most communal exercises, this he said has been a source of motivation to many people in the area, hence the massive turn out during such events.

In other related developments, Nana Effah Opinamang III said, his outfit will do all possible best to address challenges of pollution in Nkawkaw township and other areas especially behind Castle hotel, having been informed by DSWAG, the sorry state of the area.

"If I have such a honorary status for Obomeng, why not work it for Nkawkaw!, it's my jurisdiction too, but have not been to my notice", Nana Effah mentioned.

He charged his elders to ensure that, all subjects are duly reminded of their responsibility to maintaining clean environments, safeguard water resources and protection of human life.

"The interconnectivity between the environment, water and life is such that, once one is contaminated affects the other relatively, this is why we must not relent in our efforts to making sure things are done right, search and bring recalcitrant inhabitants to the palace, we must deal with them without mercy or delay", Nana added.

Furthermore, he said it is sad today, water resources available are contaminated such that many depend on bottled water and sachet, this he said draining the pockets of the poor and need to be reversed.

In a development, Nana said, tree planting was necessary to give fresh air and to promote good rainfall patterns, he has therefore promised to begin tree planting around river banks and along the streets early next year when the dry season is over.

Nana Opinamang expressed worry over Ghanaian's inability to collect, store and use water during harmattan, he promised to collaborate with agencies in water harvesting to construct systems for Obomeng community and encouraged the consideration of such systems by various assemblies.

He maintained that, there are opportunities for the youth of Obomeng through collection and sorting of waste materials for recycling purposes.

"Gallamsey was no better option for most youth in the country, however the activities of illegal mining has affected millions of people in the country when we could have offered to keep our communities clean, and same time make much sustainable business", Nana Effah mentioned.

Ending his statements, Nana Effah expressed that, his outfit through his elders will supervise the ongoing Agbagba festival so as not to set a reproach or destroy the status conferred on them, 'clean town in Ghana'.

Nana Effah Opinamang III, thanked the Anti - water and environment pollution group, Drink Safe Water Advocacy for their observations, hence the conferrment.

"An Ambassador will be selected from Obomeng Palace, to help the activities of DSWAG and also to defend the title of cleanest town in Ghana", Nana Effah promised.

The Abusuapanyin of Kwahu Obomeng, Barimah Osei Berko, on his part expressed satisfaction of the status conferred on the township and advised that, other communities rise up to the challenge of sanitation.

This will make vision of the President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo - Addo come true, "it is a collective responsibility of all and not that of just chiefs and elders, even though they have a greater call to duty.

He promised that, Nana Effah Opinamang III and elders of Obomeng will continue to maintain sanitary environments by making sure all inhabitants do not go contrary.

Krobea Asante Tofepa Ntomentwene, Executive Coordinator and a former morning show host at Rite FM, thanked the entire Obomeng community and asked Organisers of the festival, especially Emmanuel Agyenim Boateng to ensure nobody drops sachet water in the streets even as Agbagba festival is been observed.

This he explained, will help Obomeng community defend the conferment, 'cleanest town in Ghana' and entise others to emulate for national development.

Local governance expert and the chairman of Drink Safe Water Advocacy Group, however congratulated the entire community for their new status but pleaded that, all continue to work towards defending the title since group will continue to monitor progress after the conferment.