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Opinion | Feb 21, 2019

Making Accra Cleanest City In Africa By 2020: Is Akufo-Addo Making Progress?

ModernGhana.com
Making Accra Cleanest City In Africa By 2020: Is Akufo-Addo Making Progress?

President Nana Akufo-Addo has said more can be done in the fight against filth and making the capital the cleanest city in Africa as he promised.

He acknowledged while delivering his State of the Nation Address to Parliament Thursday, that there has been “a significant improvement in sanitation.”

“However, this is currently the state of play. We have witnessed an increase in the coverage of solid waste management, from 16.6% to 53%, and, over the course of last year, 35,862 household toilets were built, as opposed to 1,698 in 2016. We will intensify efforts at making Accra a clean city,” he told the parliamentarians.

According to President Akufo-Addo, this year apart from continuing with educating and sensitizing people, government intends to use the bye-laws to enforce cleanliness.

He said Justice Ministry and Sanitation Ministry will be working together to try sanitation offences.

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The President did not mince words when he said persons who litter would be tried and punished, and “so would those who steal litter bins from our streets.”

“We are launching a National Sanitation Brigade to help us carry this out, and, through this vehicle, we will not only keep our towns and cities clean but will also provide jobs for our young people.

“Once waste is properly and efficiently managed, we then can explore how to use the waste collected to advance the economy of our nation,” he stated.

A cursory look around our cities and towns would show us that plastic filth is our biggest problem.

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According to the President, his administration “intends to solve this problem through the internationally recognized priorities of waste: reduction first, followed by reuse, recycle, recovery and, lastly, disposal, which is to be avoided whenever possible.”

Government has prepared a Plastics Management Policy, with the overarching aim of meeting the challenges of comprehensive plastics management.

President Akufo-Addo noted that about 82 per cent of the country’s plastics waste could be readily recovered and recycled with existing technologies into value-addition products in high demand locally and within the West African subregion.

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“A vibrant recycling industry in Ghana could recover nearly one million tonnes of waste plastics from the environment and landfills annually, to be recycled into basic-need products valued at GH¢2 billion per year, creating many jobs across the economy.

“Currently, extensive discussions are being concluded with investors on the most sustainable options available to rid Ghana of this plastic filth menace,” he said.

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He told Parliament his administration is also tackling the problem of electronic waste head-on, with the launch of the National E-waste Program to mark the commencement of two key provisions of the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Act.

“These provisions empower the External Service Provider (SGS) to verify, assess and collect the advance recycle eco fee on all electrical and electronic equipment from all exporting countries, and also to establish a state-of-the-art recycling facility at Agbogbloshie, whose construction will begin in April.

“Not only would we solve the problem of waste disposal in an environmentally-friendly manner, setting up the recycling facility will lead to the creation of over 20,000 direct jobs, through the establishment of associated holding centres in each regional capital and collection centres in each district,” he stated.

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President Akufo-Addo lamented how open defecation cannot be a characteristic of a country that is working to be transformed economically and to be counted amongst the developed nations of the world.

He said that necessitate making the One House-One-Toilet Policy a success.

This is a Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Programme is being implemented in over 4,500 communities in 130 districts to achieve Open Defecation Free (ODF) Communities.

Source: Ghana| Myjoyonline.com |Abubakar Ibrahim

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