Takoradi, March 25, GNA - Workers and pupils in some offices and schools in the Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan area on Friday undertook clean up exercises on the eve of a massive clean-up exercise by the assembly on Saturday March 25.
Workers of the Western Regional Office annex, and pupils of Bishop Essuah Memorial Catholic schools, Higgins Schools, Bedu Addo and Bethel Methodist Schools participated in the exercise in their offices, schools and the environment.
The assembly is expected to spend about 858 million cedis for the exercise.
It would include distilling of storm drains, sweeping of the main streets, weeding and spraying of the Takoradi, Sekondi and Apremdo markets, to eliminate rodents.
Mr George Frimpong, Head of the Environmental Health Department of the assembly said the exercise was to minimise an outbreak of cholera, malaria, typhoid fever and other communicable diseases.
Mr Frimpong said 50 refuse trucks, 1,000 polythene bags, 600 gloves and face masks, 300 cutlasses, 200 wheel barrows, 300 rakes, 500 shovels and spades and 300 Wellington boots would be purchased for the exercise. He said about 178 million cedis of the money would be spent within the Takoradi sub-metropolitan area, about 126 million cedis for Sekondi sub-metropolitan area and 67 million cedis for Shama sub-metropolitan area.
Mr Frimpong noted that the success of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) would depend on few people attending hospital and stressed that the exercise on sustained basis nation-wide would ensure improved health status of the people for the country's scare resources to be used for socio-economic development.
He said 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 about 40 per cent of its budget on environmental sanitation, and until drastic measures were taken, the effective and efficient administration of the metropolis could be jeopardised. He said improper disposal of waste, littering and other poor environmental habits would be effectively controlled after the exercise.
Mr Nkrumah announced that environmental police would be re-introduced soon to check activities of people who pollute and violate environmental laws.
He said offenders would be prosecuted.
Mr Gorkeh-Miah, Solid Waste Manager of the assembly said plastic litterbins would soon be placed at vantage points within the metropolis to check on environmental sanitation.
He pointed out that some litterbins provided in the past were destroyed and others used for domestic waste. Mr Gorkeh-Miah said 72,337 tonnes of refuse in some parts of the metropolis had been removed and appealed to the public to support the assembly for effective disposal of garbage within the metropolis.