26.06.2006 Press Release

Accra Back In Filth

By times
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Barely two months after the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) organized the last major clean-up, rubbish has piled up in most parts of the city.

Observers believe that this poses a major public health threat in the wake of the recent cholera alert issued by the Metropolitan Health Directorate.

The central business district is the worst affected with refuse containers, particularly at the Tema Station Lorry park, overflowing with rubbish and spreading to areas where traders are selling their wares.

The situation at the main street on the Accra West District office of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) (Makola annex) is no different. Three containers located on the road full and some traders are seen throwing rubbish on to the street.

Two of the four lanes along the Kojo Thompson Road (Main Makola Street and the collection point at Tudu, near Kinbu Secondary School have also been taken over by heaps of rubbish amid brisk business by hawkers.

The traders told the Times that the last time refuse containers were cleared was two weeks ago and the AMA authorities have not heeded their calls to remove them.

They said the situation was so bad that they sometimes had to employ their own means of ensuring that some of the filth was cleared by paying private rubbish collectors.

The piled rubbish is sometimes burnt to stave off the stench, one trader said.

Asked if they were aware of the damage that the continuous burning of rubbish could do to the road and their health, he said they were aware of the implications but they had no other option.

“We cannot sit down to be taken over by refuse while nothing is done about it. Some of us have our homes around and any outbreak of disease would be catastrophic for us,” he said.

When the AMA was contacted, Mr. Ali Baba Bature, Special Assistant to the AMA Chief Executive, said the AMA was aware of the situation and was working hard to clear the rubbish.

He said the situation had cropped up because the chief and people of Oblogo had stopped the AMA from further use of the Oblogo landfill site.

“The Chief and people are holding the assembly to ransom by demanding amenities like a nurses quarters, a public toilet and a drainage system,” he said.

These he said were not part of the initial request by the chief and he could not understand why he would make such demands after the assembly had acceded to their earlier request.

He said the AMA had started work on some of the things they were demanding and expressed the hope that this would convince the people of Oblogo to allow them to use the site.

He appealed to the public to exercise patience while the AMA seeks a lasting solution to the problem.

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