The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has rolled out a detailed programme aimed at achieving the government’s agenda of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa.
Per the programme, the assembly, in partnership with the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources and the Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA), will adopt a complete sanitation plan, targeting waste management, beautification of the city and law enforcement.
Outlining the programme at a press conference in Accra yesterday, the Chief Executive of the AMA, Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, said his outfit was ready to ensure that the government’s vision was achieved in its first term of office.
“Being managers of the city of Accra, the AMA, in support of the policy directives of the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, wishes to assure the President that it sees his vision as realistic and achievable within the time frame and is ready to take on the challenge,” he said.
Under the waste management programme, Mr Sowah said, the AMA’s first plan was to rid the city of filth and pollution by cutting back on waste generation at source.
“The vast majority of the city’s waste comes from the type of materials and the methods used in producing the products. Many of these are non-combustible materials such as plastic in the design and manufacture of carrier bags and packaging,” he said
To reduce the volume of waste generation in Accra, he said, there was the need for companies to rethink the way their products were designed, manufactured and packaged.
“Companies must use ingredients that are safely reusable, recyclable or returnable to the natural system,” he added.
According to Mr Sowah, one of the major issues that continued to affect waste management was the undignified garbage disposal method, particularly littering of streets, gutters and public places, open defecation and the dumping of untreated industrial waste into the Odaw-Korle Lagoon.
“The AMA will put in measures, including sustained public education, to address all these issues,” he added.
Concerning waste disposal sites, he said the assembly would soon inaugurate a new transfer station at Achimota to provide an additional site for trucks and tricycles to dump waste.
“We wish to assure the public that all unapproved refuse heaps anywhere in the city will be evacuated and closed down permanently,” he added.
Mr Sowah said the AMA would soon publish the Accra City Beautification Plan that would detail action plans for promoting architectural designs, urban landscaping, beautification of open spaces and tree-planting activities.
“Accra must look attractive at all times to give residents and visitors a sense of pride,” he added.
Concerning the dumping of garbage at unapproved sites, Mr Sowah gave out new WhatsApp hotline numbers for the public to report and send photographic evidence to the AMA, adding that offenders would be dealt with drastically.
The numbers are: 0202464444 and 0202464411.
He said daily sanitary inspection would be carried out by environmental health inspectors at various centres and homes to check “whether or not people are adhering to the sanitation laws”.
He also hinted that the sanitation laws would be reviewed to make them tougher for offenders.
He called on the public to assist the AMA to roll out programmes to make Accra the cleanest city on the continent.