Shama (W/R) March 25 -GNA-Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama on Saturday warned people who were eager to view the eclipse of the sun on Wednesday March 29 against the permanent injury to their eyes by not wearing protective glasses to watch the rare event.
He gave the warning at Shama when he joined people of the Shama Ahanta east for a massive clean-up exercise.
Alhaji Mahama said parents should endeavour to protect their children against the dangers associated with the event. The Vice President had joined similar clean-up campaigns in Accra and Kumasi metropolis two months ago. He said government was looking for donor support to provide school children with protective glasses.
Alhaji Mahama emphasised the need for the citizenry to cultivate the habit of personal cleanliness.
He said the littering of the environment was counter productive since it led to the breeding of mosquitoes and house flies, which were the major cause of communicable diseases like malaria and typhoid. The Vice President joined residents of Shama, Inchaban, Kojokrom, Essikadu, Market Circle, Effiakuma and Kwesiminstim, to clean their surroundings and also addressed mini rallies.
Nana Kobina Nketsiah, Omanhene of Essikadu, Nana Kwaku Binnah Omanhene of Shama, Odeneho Gyapong Ababio, President of the National House of Chiefs, some Ministers of State, Members of Parliament and some New Patriotic Party executives accompanied him.
Alhaji Mahama said the filth menace was destroying the beauty of the country's sandy beaches and thereby scaring away tourists. "We need sandy beaches and not dirty beaches," he said. He called for the restoration of the Environmental and Sanitary Inspectors popularly called "Samanman" to arrest and prosecute people who kept their surroundings untidy.
Alhaji Mahama said the clean-up exercise should not be a "nine-day wonder' but should become a regular exercise to be adopted by every Ghanaian.
He said the exercise had nothing to do with politics since a healthy environment was the only way government could save the huge amount of money it spent annually in curbing diseases. "Sickness he said was no respecter of persons and had no political colour".
Speaking later at a press conference, he directed the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to enforce its bye-laws on sanitation. Alhaji Mahama said laws must be implemented, irrespective of the consequences and if assemblies failed to implement them, the government would live no legacy for the country. He also tasked the media to devote more time and columns for sanitation and environmental issues.