Sekondi, March 14, GNA - The Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan Assembly (SAEMA) would embark on a massive clean-up exercise on Saturday, March 25. The exercise, which includes distilling of storm drains, sweeping of main streets, weeding and spraying of the Takoradi, Sekondi and Apremdo markets, to eliminate rodents, is estimated to cost 868 million cedis.
Briefing the media at Sekondi on Tuesday, Mr George Frimpong, Head of Environmental Health Department of the assembly said the exercise had become necessary to minimise the outbreak of cholera, malaria, typhoid and other communicable diseases. Mr Frimpong said 50 refuse trucks, 1,000 poly-bags, 600 gloves and face masks, 300 cutlasses, 200 wheel barrows, 300 rakes, 500 shovels and spades and 300 Wellington boots would be used in the exercise. He said 178 million cedis out of the 858 million cedis would be spent within Takoradi sub-metro, 126 million cedis for Sekondi sub-metro and 67 million cedis on Shama sub-metro.
Mr Frimpong said success of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) would depend on few people seeking health care in hospitals and stressed the need for mass clean-up campaigns to ensure healthy environment. He said the various sub-metros had been encouraged to inform and educate the inhabitants about the impending exercise to get them involved, adding: "Without a concerted effort to promote environmental sanitation, the development agenda of the assembly would not be achieved."
Mr Philip K. Nkrumah, Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan Chief Executive said the assembly spent over 40 per cent of its budget on environmental sanitation and until drastic measures were taken, it could not sustain the effective and efficient performance of the assembly. He said improper disposal of waste, littering and other poor environmental habits must be seriously checked. Mr Nkrumah said environmental police would be re-introduced within the metropolis soon, to check activities of people who violate environmental laws. He said people arrested would be prosecuted to deter others. Mr Gorkeh-Miah, Solid Waste Manager of the assembly said plastic litterbins would be placed at vantage points within the metropolis. He said previous litterbins placed at some vantage points were destroyed and some stuffed with domestic waste thus reducing their lifespan and defeating its purpose. Mr Gorkeh-Miah said 72,337 tonnes of refuse collected within the metropolis had been removed and appealed to the public to support the assembly by dumping refuse at only approved sites.