07.06.2006 Education

MPs Want Cleanliness Taught In Schools

By Times
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Members of Parliament yesterday urged the government to make environmental sanitation an integral part of the school curriculum to inculcate the practices of cleanliness in people.

The MPs were contributing to a statement by Lee Ocran (NDC-Jomoro) on the effects of haphazard development on sanitation and public health.

Mr. Ocran said with a population of about 20 million and an average daily waste production per person of 0.45kg, Ghana generates three million tonnes of solid waste annually.

He said Accra with an estimated population of three million, and a floating population of about 300,000, generates about 1500 tonnes of solid waste daily and yet only 40 per cent is appropriately disposed of.

“The rest is left uncollected creating the condition for the breeding of rectors which in turn cause diseases,” he said.

As a result of this state of affairs, Ghana today is choking under the weight of plastic and other municipal waste, he said.

Mr. Ocran took exception to the siting of a hawkers' market at the Kwame Nkrumah circle along the Odaw River saying the area, once the nerve centre of the city of Accra is now one of the filthiest areas in the city.

“He said it is not uncommon to see adults, both male and female squatting side by side in broad day light on the filted portions of the Odaw River easing themselves.”

Mr. Ocran described this as an affront to the dignity of the Ghanaian, adding that garbage from the lorry park and the market found their way into the Odaw River whose biodiversity was almost extinct due to abuse

Contributing, Alfred Agbesi (NDC-Ashaiman) urged the municipal and city authorities to provide waste collection facilities at vantage points into which people could conveniently dispose of waste materials.

Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (NPP-Suame), Majority chief whip, said the manner in which people shamelessly defecate in gutters and drains especially in the cities was embarrassing and called for tougher action to stop the practice.

Alfred Abayateye (NDC-Sege) called for the use of paper carriage bags since they can easily decompose in the soil. He said the use of polythene bags was not environmentally friendly.

John Ndebugre (PNC-Zebila) called for stringent action against people who deliberately dump waste into water bodies.

Dr. Ahmed Mustapha (NDC-Ayawaso East) who spoke against the rampant cutting of forest wood, cautioned that the practice had a negative bearing on the atmosphere thereby creating the global warming phenomenon.

In another statement, Mr. Stephen Amoanor Kwao (NDC-Upper Manya Krobo) said MPs needed the services of research assistants, secretaries and personal assistants to help them in the discharge of their official duties.

Speaking on “Resourcing, MPs” Mr Kwao expressed regret that most MPs had no constituency offices, office equipment in the form of faxes, computers and printers, internet connectivity, means of transport for personal assistants among others.

He said these items were necessary to enhance the work of MPs as the surest way of closing the communication gap between them and their constituencies.

He said people tended to frown on any expenditure made by the legislature especially speaker's travels and loans to MPs to buy cars and yet the Afro Barometre survey faulted MPs for not visiting and interacting with their constituents regularly.

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