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National Sanitation Day: Accra records high turnout as other regions report low patronage

The exercise, which preceded the celebration of the 59th Independence Day the following morning, saw a number of the traders clearing choked drains and collecting debris left behind after a  rainfall.

The traders swept and collected rubbish in the various markets.

 The Chief Executive Officer of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, led the exercise and was supported by Zoomlion Ghana Limited, a waste management company.

He toured some principal streets, other markets and various suburbs in the municipality to ensure that they were cleared of filth.

Students of Accra Academy, as part of their 85th Speech and Prize-giving Day celebration, undertook a massive clean-up of the school.

The students weeded and swept their school compound and the surroundings, with support from workers of Zoomlion Ghana Limited who fumigated the compound against vectors.

Successful exercise

Describing the exercise as a successful one, Dr Vanderpuije said it was important for the public to accept the national exercise as a collective responsibility.

He noted that the monthly NSD exercise, which is a government intervention, was gradually paying off.

“We are committed to working more; we are going to make sure that we keep the fire burning so that we get more people involved so in the future, we are committed to creating a more conducive environment for everybody,” Dr Vanderpuije said.

The headmaster of Accra Academy, Mr Samuel Ofori-Adjei, suggested to the various senior high schools (SHS) to teach their students how to segregate their waste, so that they could take it up as a waste-management venture later in life.

The Communications Manager of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Mr Robert Tetteh Coleman, said the company was committed to ensuring a clean and safe environment at all times.

Low patronage

From Tongo in the Upper East Region, Alhandu Abdul-Hamid reports that the NSD exercise received low patronage. When the Daily Graphic reached Tongo in the Talensi District at 6 30a.m., almost all those gathered in the Central Business area, where the exercise was to begin, were workers of Zoomlion.

When the exercise eventually took off at 7.50a.m., the participants were divided into two groups. One group cleaned from the market area to the premises of the district assembly, while the others cleaned the area around the Tongo Health Centre and the football park.

Some residents who did not take part in the exercise said they were not aware of it, while others said the clean-up exercise was the responsibility of Zoomlion workers who were paid to do that.

The District Supervisor of Zoomlion, Mr John Yin Boare, blamed the low patronage on the inability of the district assembly to enact and implement by-laws that would make it compulsory and also put in place sanctions deterrent to those who failed to participate in the NSD.

Cape Coast

Some residents of Cape Coast joined in the National Sanitation Exercise with enthusiasm on Saturday but turnout was generally low, reports Shirley Asiedu-Addo.

Many residents stayed indoors and waited for the exercise to be completed before going out to conduct their business activities.

During the exercise, which was held in various suburbs of the metropolis, gutters were cleared of filth.

The Central Regional Minister, Mr Kweku Rickettes Hagan, some government officials and some personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) joined residents in parts of the metropolis for the exercise.

Later, Mr Ricketts-Hagan advised those who participated in the exercise to help create awareness of the exercise and encourage others to join in subsequent ones.

Michael Quaye reports from Wa that commercial drivers and shop owners joined other residents to undertake the exercise.

The Deputy Regional Minister, Dr Mohammed Musheibu Alfa, and the Chief Executive of the Wa Municipal Assembly, Mr Nuhu Putiaha, led residents to clean drains and their surroundings in various parts of the regional capital.

The GNFS, the police, military and staff of Zoomlion also provided support for the exercise.

Brass band music played in the background to create a relaxed atmosphere as well as provide fun for the participants.

Apathy

Our reporter in Kumasi, Felix A. Baidoo, said because of the apathy that characterised the clean-up exercise undertaken around the Aboabo station and Allah Bar, at a point, military personnel partaking in it, had to force some youth who were looking on to join in.

For the first time, however, more than 50 tricycles (Aboboyaa) were on hand to convey the refuse to standby waste trucks to be carted away and this prevented rubbish pile-ups after the exercise, as had been the case previously.

The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr John Alexander Ackon, said that for the National Sanitation Day exercise to be beneficial to the nation, there was the need for Ghanaians to take the initiative as their own and not  an imposition from the government.

Mr Ackon announced that the government would soon inaugurate a new compost plant at Adagya in the Bosomtwe District to improve the sanitation situation in the region.

A number of celebrities, namely Tic tac, Kekye, Rex Omar, Ben Brako, WIP, 55, Pascaline Edward, Gariba and Guru, among others, took part in the clean-up exercise.

Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah reports from Suma-Ahenkro that the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Alhaji Collins Dauda, joined the chiefs and people of the Suma Traditional Area to undertake the exercise.

Tens of people from the town and nearby villages took part in the exercise which was also organised as a prelude to the 2016 Akwantu Kese Festival of the traditional area.

They swept streets and cleaned gutters and later collected the piled-up refuse to the refuse dumps in the town.

– See more at: http://www.graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/59772-national-sanitation-day-accra-records-high-turnout-as-other-regions-report-low-patronage.html#sthash.6s4o37Hl.dpuf

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