22.10.2003 Feature Article

Are Ghanaians Environmentally Blind?

Are Ghanaians Environmentally Blind?
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"Hei! Why did you throw out the water sachet on the ground after sipping the water? Why didn't you give it back to the girl selling it? "Ah! There comes another "too known" woman! It's none of your business where and how I throw the rubbish! What are the sanitary people employed for? Why do we have Ama. Eei, is it none of her business? Just drive along the streets of Accra, start from Maamobi, Nima, Adabraka, Kaneshie Market, Kaneshie, Bubuashie, Osu, Labadi, turn to Cantonments. Drive from Accra Central towards Cape Coast, through Kasoa and Buduburam refugee Camp which is also referred to as "Liberia" or "Monrovia" by some people. What do you see around you? What is common in all these areas? Abundance of rubbish! As much as 80 % of this rubbish is made up of plastic waste commonly termed 'pure water' sachets. Pure water indeed!

Not long ago, we saw on television and heard over the radio that some of these so called Pure Water have been found to be very 'impure'.

What does the Minister responsible for Tourism and the Modernisation of the Capital City intends doing about this menace? Some years ago, we had ice cream, which was served in paper cups, even water was served in paper cups at funerals.

We know that it is easy to set fire to paper but not east to set fire to plastic materials like Pure Water Sachets and plastic cups containing ice cream.

Where has the paper bags?

Formerly, when you go shopping, your goods are put into paper bags to be taken home. Now we have only plastic bags. The commonest among them is the black ones known in Akan speaking circles as "Wiadze ye sum" (The world is a dark world).

How appropriate the name is! These black plastic bags are seen scattered all over the town, in our rivers, waterbodies, and gutters.

What is happening to our environment? Can't the average Ghanaian see these things?

No wonder a friend of mine recently made a statement to the effect that "many Ghanaians are not only colour blind but environmentally blind as well.: That cleanliness is not the cup of tea of many Ghanaians. How right she is!!

I feel very sad whenever I see these rubbish all around us. Are many Ghanaians blind environmentally?

I think the Minister for Tourism and the Modernization of the Capital City has an arduous task ahead of him. He must ensure that stringent laws are passed punish those who litter our streets.

Pure Water sellers must be made to collect the sachets from the streets or be banned completely from their lucrative business.

Mr. Minister, do something before we are swallow up by filth and die of epidemic.

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