Poor Turnout At Sanitation Day

Mahama Sweeping as Volta Minister, Helen Ntoso on the left looks.

There was virtually no show in the Ho Municipality and several other places in the Volta Region during the maiden national Sanitation Day last Saturday, as most residents went about their normal activities.

Many attributed the situation to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament’s sitting in Ho, the regional capital.

The committee was considering the reports of the Auditor-General on the management and utilisation of the District Assembly Common Fund, other statutory funds and Internally Generated Funds for the years ending 2010, 2011 and 2012 for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the Greater Accra, Eastern and Volta Regions.

The committee, which started sitting last Tuesday and hoped to end by Friday, eventually winded up on Saturday, the day earmarked as the national Sanitation Day.

Most of the MMDAs were actively involved in the PAC sitting up to Saturday.

At the Ho Central Market and commercial bus terminal where the exercise was scheduled to take place, only a handful of young men and women were there to clear the choked gutters.

Commenting on the low turnout, the Ho Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Fafa Adinyirah, who together with her lieutenants faced the PAC on Saturday morning, noted that the municipality was generally clean due to frequent clean-up exercises by the Assembly in collaboration with the Volta Regional Office of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, a waste management company.

As a result, they decided to concentrate on the Central Market and commercial bus terminal which had lots of dirt and was in an insanitary condition. However the exercise saw a very low turnout.

Even at Sogakope in the South Tongu District where President Mahama participated in the exercise with residents, the turnout was not impressive, as the DCE, Samuel Mawuko Eworyi, and his lieutenants also visited the PAC on Friday, the eve of the Sanitation Day.

The Volta Regional Minister, Helen Ntoso, who joined the President at South Tongu, noted that the Regional Coordinating Council would ensure all people participate in the exercise adequately.

In the Keta Municipality, the Sanitation Day coincided with the grand durbar of the Hogbetsotso festival which attracted President Mahama and other dignitaries.

As a result, the clean-up exercise did not come off.

In Ketu South, the MCE, Pascal Lamptey, expressed disappointment over the low turnout by residents and hoped that the situation would improve in subsequent months.

Otumfuo Weeps
In Kumasi, the Ashanti regional capital, the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II expressed concern over the insanitary nature of the city as he led hundreds of people to take part in the national Sanitation Day exercise.

Without mincing words, the Asantehene told the people to bow their heads in shame, adding that living in total filth was not part of the Asante culture.

He stated that it was the core duty of the people to clear the garbage which they generate, and that it was unacceptable for the people to continue to live in insanitary conditions, waiting on the government to tell them what to do.

Otumfuo said even in the olden days when there was no computer, the people lived in clean environments, adding that he was shocked to the marrow to see the direct opposite of what transpired in the olden days in these modern times.

He addressed the hundreds of people of Kumasi who besieged the Boss FM area at Adum, where he and other top officials in the city had embarked on a major clean-up exercise.

Ashanti Regional Minister Samuel Sarpong and his deputy Joseph Yammin, the regional Police boss, DCOP Kofi Boakye, and Nana Owusu Afriyie, the Apagyahene, also took part in the clean-up exercise.

The Otumfuo said he was not enthused about the high volumes of garbage that were exhumed from choked gutters right in the middle of Adum, the Central Business District of Kumasi.

Decongestion Exercise
Samuel Sarpong, the acting Kumasi Mayor (in place of Kojo Bonsu who is on leave), also said he was sad to see filth taking over the city, threatening the health of the people.

He announced that the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) would embark on a decongestion exercise at Adum on Monday to help make movement of people and vehicles easy.

Mr Sarpong expressed concern over the fact that people were trading right on the roads, which as a result caused massive vehicular traffic in the city, saying, ‘All such traders would be moved from the streets on Monday.’

From Fred Duodu, Ho & FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi


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