Axim (W/R) Sept.25 -GNA- Hundreds of people on Saturday took part in a massive clean-up exercise at Axim in the Western Region to climax one week celebration of this year's "Clean-up the World" anniversary in Ghana.
Community leaders, traders, fishermen, workers of public and private institutions, staff and students of the various first and second cycle schools participated in activities that also included talks on health and environmental protection.
Axim, the capital of the Nzema East district was selected for the celebration as a result of its twin relationship between the district and the municipality of Pecciola in Italy.
Thousands of people in Pecciola also support and actively participate in the celebration, which was launched by the UN Environmental Programme in 1993.
The District Assembly, Legambiente; an Italian environmental association, COSPE; an Italian NGO in Ghana, the Ghana Wildlife Society and SIPA; a sanitation agency in Axim jointly organised the celebration. Addressing a durbar to round off the celebrations later, Mr. Basilio Toth, Deputy Head of Mission of the Italian Embassy said there was still much to be done to increase awareness of the magnitude of environmental problems and to encourage individuals to be responsible for their behaviours.
He pledged the Embassy's continued support to sustain the programme because clean up exercises were the simplest and most effective means to tackle environmental degradation.
Mr Toth said the Foreign Ministry of his country and COSPE would soon embark on the projects including the rehabilitation of Forts Apolonia and Princes Town to boost tourism.
Mr. Joshua Kwajah-Ellimah, Nzema East District Chief Executive noted that "Clean Up the World" had been the greatest worldwide voluntary initiative to protect the environment from destruction. He said this year's exercise should remind the people of the need for them to keep and live in clean environment and urged them to support the efforts to rid the town of filth.
Mr. Kwajah-Ellimah said whereas the District Assembly identifies tourism as one of its priority areas to be pursued, it has the fear that due to the filthy conditions of the district capital, this goal may not be achieved.
He therefore, appealed to the people to live up to their responsibilities and cooperate with the relevant institutions to make the town clean.
The District Chief Executive also renew the Assembly's appeal to the Italian Embassy for assistance to procure machinery and equipment to enhance its environmental programmes.
Mr. Jacob Papini of COSPE said his organisation would continue to collaborate with stakeholders to improve hygiene and waste management in the district.
On behalf of the Italian Embassy, COSPE and Legambiente, Mr. Toth presented wheelbarrows, spades, shovels refuse containers and other waste gatherin g implements worth more than ten million cedis to the community. Awulae Attibrukusu II, Omanhene of Lower Axim who presided commended the Italian Embassy and the two Italian organisations for their support to improve the health of the people.