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09.07.2008 Regional News

AMA urges public to be responsible

By Bernice Bessey - Ghanaian Chronicle
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The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has urged Ghanaians to be responsible citizens, and contribute massively to the development of the nation.

The advice was given, in an interview with the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Assembly, Nii Numo Blafo III, who noted that the public was not cooperating with the Assembly, in its quest to keep the city clean.

According to him, people are careless and do not take the task of protecting the environment in which they live, expecting that the AMA will clean up the filth produced at various locations within the metropolis.

“The Assembly's responsibility is not solely cleaning up dirt in the metropolis, and if people keep on depositing solid waste into drainages, it will not help the assembly, but also lead to mosquito-breeding, as well as flooding, during the raining season,” Nii Numo Blafo III noted.

“The Assembly has spent huge sums of money towards educating the public on cleanliness and neatness, but it seems the message is received with deaf ears,” he stressed.

He further disclosed that dustbins, supplied by the Assembly, in order for people to drop in litter, were being ignored, while the roads are heaped with refuse.

For this reason, he said, the Assembly would be replacing former Town Council inspectors with sanitation inspectors, who will direct the public as to the correct way of disposing of refuse from homes, and also bring perpetrators of the indiscriminate disposal of refuse to book.

The PRO further indicated that the law permits the Assembly, to take legal action against individuals who do not abide by the rules and regulations of the Assembly, adding that the fines awarded by the courts, against the offenders, were not substantial.

“The AMA bye-laws are outmoded, because the sanctions are too limited, penalties in 1995 are the same charges today,” he noted.

He, therefore, called for some of the clauses in the Constitution to be reviewed.

Speaking on the way and manner people utilized the sea shores, as places of convenience, the Public Relations Officer indicated that the Assembly was setting up a task force, to arrest anyone who falls foul with the bye-law for bringing sanity to the country's beaches.

Responding to the question on why the Assembly did not take the trouble to inspect houses, for toilet facilities, before they are put up, Nii Numo Blafo III noted that landlords do not inform them when they are putting up buildings, only for the Assembly to see the building at completion point.

According to him, even though the Assembly gives permits for building, it had no powers to pull down structures above lintel level.

“Due to all these forces, the Assembly is not doing well as expected of it, and these are some of the disadvantages that will be tackled soon,” he predicted.

Numo Blafo expressed his indignation towards human right activists, who come to the aid of perpetrators of the law, asserting that such actions paved the way for unending wrongdoings within the society.

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