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28.01.2006 General News

Vice President joins mayor to clean-up Accra

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Accra, Jan. 28, GNA - Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, on Saturday joined Sheik I. C. Quaye, Greater Accra Regional Minister and Mr Stanley Adjiri-Blankson, Chief Executive of Accra Metropolitan Assembly to inspect and cleanup some selected sites of the Metropolis during a five-hour cleanup exercise for the whole capital city. The team including Major Courage Quashigah, Minister of Health; Mr Charles Bintim, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and Madam Theresa A. Tagoe, Deputy Minister, Lands, Forestry and Mines, assisted traders around the Makola Market to sweep and scrub some pavements with the assistance of the Ghana National Fire Service, which provided water.

The team inspected areas such as the Central Business District comprising of Makola through Katamanto, UTC to Salaga market. They continued to Agbogbloshie market area, to Abossey Okai Spare Parts area and to the proposed Hawkers Market at Circle. The inspection and interaction with residents finally ended at Alajo. Addressing the traders and residents of the various destinations, Vice President Mahama bemoaned the apathetic and lukewarm attitude of some of the people, who only looked on unconcerned whilst others partook in the cleanup exercise.

Such attitude he noted did not show respect for authority and likened it to homes where children were disrespectful to their parents. "Democracy does not mean being disrespectful," he told the onlookers, adding that we all have to join hands in making the areas free from mosquitoes and flies. "Mosquitoes and flies do not know party colours. They do not care whether you belong to NPP or NDC or CPP. They would only thrive where filth is. So we all need to ensure a clean environment," he said.

Alhaji Aliu said the purpose of the cleanup exercise was to rid the city of filth to curb the increasing rate of malaria and cholera in the country.

"This is only the beginning and it is the hope of the Government that the exercise would be replicated in all regional capital to ensure a clean State.

"We are starting from Accra, because Accra is the first entry point to the country and it should not be lost to anyone that first impression is important. This is why what is starting today must be seen as a national exercise."

He pledged his support for the exercise which would be on monthly basis saying, "if we have to depend on votes before doing the right thing, then nothing would be done right".

Alhaji Aliu used the occasion to appeal to residents to register with the National Health Insurance scheme to make the programme a success.

He also urged the traders on the pavement to move to the Hawkers' Market when the place was ready to avoid any confrontations. "Government solidly supports the AMA and we expect that law and order would prevail in the capital city," he said. Mr Adjiri-Blankson thanking residents for partaking in the exercise, appealed to them to bear with the AMA as it collected the rubbish saying it would take more than the weekend to get all the rubbish heaps from the street.

"The water in the rubbish has to drain out before we collect," he said.

Mr Adjiri-Blankson 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 byelaws, enacted by the assembly would have meaningful effect.

Mr Adjiri-Blankson said he did not see any justification for the Vice President to partake in a cleanup for others to litter the area later.

"The Vice President's fight against indiscipline concept would be revised and applied to the letter," he said. "We are tired of people taking advantage of democracy to mean indiscipline"

Mr Adjiri-Blankson appealed to the media to embark upon an educational campaign on good sanitation practices to curb the menace of indiscriminate disposal of waste. He praised personnel of the Military, Customs, Exercise and Preventive Service (CEPS), Prisons Service, Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Police and other organisation that participated in the exercise for their solidarity with the AMA and urged them to help the AMA to begin the enforcement of its sanitation byelaw as from Monday January 30. 28 Jan. 06

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