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The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, has announced that the vision of the President of the Republic to make Accra the cleanest city in the subregion is on course.

The Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, has announced that the vision of the President of the Republic to make Accra the cleanest city in the subregion is on course.

Cecilia Dapaah was speaking to reporters during a visit to four refuse dump sites in the Greater Accra Region yesterday.

The visit, which covered Sakaman Market near Mallam, Glefe Dumping Site in Ablekuma West, the Agbogbloshie Transfer Site and Osu Castle, was to enable her and her deputies to have first-hand information on activities the assemblies have embarked on to deal with illegal dumping of refuse in the city.

Become gatekeepers

Mrs Dapaah stressed that the visit to various dump sites had been inspired by the President’s quest to make the capital clean.

At Sakaman Market, the assembly has evidently been able to reclaim the dump site for commercial activities.Sounding impressed by the reclamation exercise, Mrs Dapaah urged marketwomen and drivers close to the site to become gatekeepers for the reclaimed land, and prevent people from using the site to get rid of refuse.

The situation at Glefe was not palatable: tricycle operators have turned the area into a dump site. Matters have been compounded by squatters putting up structures in the middle of the road leading to the site.

Mrs Dapaah assured residents that the government would work to make their lives better. She appealed to the local assembly to liaise with her ministry to resolve all obstacles in dealing with the Glefe site.

The right rubbish

At the Agbogbloshie Transfer Site, the Minister was impressed by a group of men working at the site who were sorting out waste.

A forty-foot container track operated by Zoomlion had been stationed to load the sorted refuse for recycling.

The fourth and final destination was the Osu Castle seashore, where the Minister and her entourage witnessed a clean-up by the assembly to remove the waste that usually engulfs the shore after a heavy downpour.

She directed that the assembly channel its attention towards making the location cleaner by engaging residents in a sensitisation programme to make them conscious of the best ways to dispose of waste.

Mrs Dapaah emphasised that the government is providing waste bins to communities to enable them to dispose of waste appropriately.

She added that another step the government is keen to take is to provide communities with incinerators. These will help reduce accumulation of waste materials and will fuel wealth creation.

Cleanliness agenda

According to the Minister, the combustion of organic substances in waste materials could be used to produce manure, which could boost soil and help growers of food.

She announced another project at Nungua, in the suburbs of Accra, yet to be commissioned, in which waste materials will be recycled to serve recreational purposes along the coast which will attract tourists. “When completed, all manner of persons will have the opportunity to visit and have some form of socialisation,” the Minister said.

The Minister of Sanitation pledged the Akufo-Addo government’s commitment to make the coastline cleaner, so that the Marine Drive tourism and urban development project can take off unhindered.

She stressed that her ministry would collaborate with local assemblies to ensure enforcement of the laws.

“I think the period where people were imprisoned for flouting sanitation laws is over. This time, the person must be given attire to work in the community where he or she committed the offence,” she said.

“This way, the government would not spend money feeding him or her.”

In an interview with the media after her visit, Mrs Dapaah called for a concerted effort by all Ghanaians, and especially the media, to propagate an agenda of cleanliness even as the government makes great efforts to clean up Accra.

The chief executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Mayor Mohammed Adjei Sowah, promised that the AMA would continue to engage residents on matters of sanitation to enable them to abide by the by-laws and keep the city clean.