The filth engulfing the city of Accra is one that many governments and private organizations have tried in varying methods and dimensions to address. We as citizens have seen successes in some parts of the country. Other parts of the Ghana’s cities and towns did not respond to the numerous ‘Keep Ghana Clean’ campaigns, and yet, some sights in the capital have even worsened despite the campaigns.
Who is to blame? The government, metropolitan assemblies, market women, ‘trotro’ drivers and other road users, pedestrians, and the list goes on. We can continue to blame other parties and people but ourselves. But if we are truthful to ourselves, we would realize that each one of us is part of the problem.
We would also agree that the government of the day has a bigger responsibility than any other stakeholder. From legislation to nationwide campaigns, the government is in better position than any other stakeholder to fight the growing filth in Ghana.
One way in which government can solve Ghana’s problem with indiscriminate disposal of refuse and city loitering is by tackling it from an economic dimension: drastically reduce the filth in our streets and corners and creating employment through the process. We have seen governments outsource part of this duty to keep Ghana clean to private business establishments. The public has had its fair say in whether or not these rubbish collecting businesses have done a good job. My job here is not to extend that debate. However, if governments can take the primary responsibility of keeping Ghana clean at all times, we are sure to see a greater effect than we have witnessed. Specific agencies must be set up or attached to existing ministries, departments and agencies, with the sole of aim of tackling Ghana’s ever growing rubbish covering.
Whilst we complain about unemployment, we have a great opportunity to train a section of the workforce to take up jobs in waste disposal and sanitation. By creating employment in this area, we are not only empowering the population economically, we are also keeping our cities and towns clean, and preventing health outbreaks such as cholera.
As individuals, we also owe ourselves and the country a duty to keep Ghana clean. Play your part and change your habit towards waste disposal, wherever you find yourself. Health is wealth.