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06.05.2009 Regional News

Apathy at SSNIT flats, Community 3, Tema

By Naa Norley - Ghanaian Chronicle
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As part of this year's May Day celebrations, members of the Youth for Development (TYD), a public-spirited group based in Tema, organised a clean-up exercise in an attempt to rid the Tema SSNIT flats and its surroundings of filth.

Despite a much publicised campaign for the program, including discussions held on a local FM station in Tema, occupants of the flats at Site B, either choose to be passive observers of those who were cleaning up, or stayed in their flats.

Some of those who drove past tooted their car horns in a manner that suggested that those cleaning were disturbing them, and that they were an unwanted invitation.

However, the public spirited persons, comprising of the old and the young, mostly came from the BBC area in Community 2 and tidied up the vicinity to the admiration of passers-by.

The group weeded the area, collected rubbish and desilted gutters choked with sand and filth, leading to the free flow of stagnant water, which by its odour was suggestive of its age.

Surprisingly, the group persisted in making their work meaningful, by collecting and depositing the filth they had gathered into a Tema Municipal Assembly (TMA) truck, a stark departure from the normal practice where garbage is left on the shoulders of the road, only to be washed back into the drains.

A resident of the area, who spoke on condition of anonymity to the Accra file, said that although most of the residents of the area were gainfully employed, and could afford to improve on the sanitation of the area, everyone was looking at the other to take up the mantle of responsibility.

She pointed, for instance, to a manhole by a wooden structure on a park in front of Block 1A, and noted that it was full of human waste and exposed to the elements, but no one cared to do something about it.

The apathy shown by the said occupants was manifest in the appearance of most of the SSNIT buildings, which the residents occupied. Most of the buildings had obviously not seen a fresh coat of paint since they were commissioned for occupation.

John Doe Amensimeku, a youth leader, in a chat with the Accra File, said that the group decided to heed the call of the President of Ghana for some patriotism in the fight against the filth that seems to have engulfed the nation.

He expressed surprise at the turn-out from the actual residents, given that the exercise was advertised on a radio program, letters, and through numerous announcements from an information van made prior to the exercise, to remind residents about that day's activities.

Mr. Amensimeku disclosed that the next line of action of the group is to visit the Sakumono Beach, aka Titanic Beach, to clean the refuse that had piled up there.

He wondered why some people, in this day and age, still found our beaches a haven for defecation and the dumping of refuse, which is affecting aquatic life. According to him, the group would link up with the Tema Municipal Assembly (TMA) in establishing a coast guard group to help instill sanity in the area.

Bruce Dela, one of the organisers of the clean-up, and who introduced himself to the Accra file as an aspiring assembly member for the area, said that their next clean-up activity will be at the BBC and Meridian road area at Community 2, and that this would be planned to coincide with a massive clean-up, being planned by the recently sworn-in Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Kempis Papa Nii Ofosuware.

Lawyer Allan, a legal practitioner who joined the clean-up, expressed concern over some heavily inhabited parts of the BBC area, which were presently water-logged as a result of the seepage of water from sewer lines.

He was however confident that Kempis Papa Nii Ofosuware would live up to his billing of being a problem solver, and institute remedial measures to bring relief to the residents and to prevent an epidemic from occurring.

The lawyer added that if cleanliness was a measure of Godliness, then Ghanaians were increasingly becoming un-Godly, and called on the religious bodies to call on their followers to adopt proper sanitary practices.

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