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28.01.2006 General News

Let's place high premium on environmental sanitation - Veep

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Accra, Jan. 28, GNA - Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, on Saturday called on Ghanaians to take environmental sanitation more seriously to improve their health in order to reduce the huge government spending on drugs importation.

He said all Ghanaians must appreciate sanitation as a major health problem that was destroying the country.

Alhaji Aliu said these when he joined a massive clean-up exercise launched by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), in the city, to clear the national capital of filth.

He said his presence was to assure the assembly of the support of the Presidency adding that until Accra became clean, Ghana would not be able to attract the expected high number of tourists. The Vice President said ''Accra is the first entry point to the country and it should not be lost on anyone that first impression was important. This is why what is starting today must be seen as a national exercise.''

Alhaji Aliu suggested to the Ministry of Education and Sports to make it a policy for school children and students to undertake weekly clean-ups in the communities.

He also appealed to the media to create more public awareness about the need for people to keep their surroundings clean. Mr Adjiri-Blankson, Chief Executive of AMA, said the exercise would be sustained on monthly basis, and warned that with effect from Monday, the Assembly would take court action against those who litter the streets.

He said it was by this action that bye-laws, enacted by the assembly would have meaningful effect.

Mr Adjiri-Blankson said: "All of us have presided over the filth and we all have to move into the trenches and gutters to clean-up the mess". He announced that school children and students in the metropolis would every fortnight go round to pick rubbish on the streets as part of the programme to keep Accra clean.

He praised personnel of the military, Customs Exercise and Preventive Service (CEPS), Prisons Service, the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), police and other security agencies for their solidarity with the AMA.

Major Courage Quashigah (Rtd), the Health Minister, Sheikh I. C. Quaye, Greater Accra Regional Minister, Madam Theresa Amerley Tagoe, a Deputy Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, Mr Abraham Dwuma Odoom, a Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and Mr Stanley Nii Adjiri-Blankson, Chief Executive of AMA, were among those who took part in the exercise and the GNFS provided tenders.