Metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) must strictly enforce sanitation by-laws so that recalcitrant individuals who dump filth into open drains are prosecuted and punished for doing so, Mr Samuel Atta-Akyea, Minister of Works and Housing has said.
“The sanitation by-laws must be activated, so those obstinately uncooperative individuals who break the laws are punished accordingly.
“The MMDAs must begin to deal ruthlessly with those who use the open drains as their receptacle for filth so that the indiscipline ceases,” he said.
Mr Atta-Akyea was addressing the press last Saturday, after a desilting exercise in Koforidua.
The exercise, which formed part of preparation to prevent flooding this year, saw the desilting of major drains in the various suburbs of the New Juaben South and the New Juaben North municipal assemblies.
It was a collaboration between the Ministry of Works and Housing, the two assemblies and Zoomlion, a waste management company.
Mr Atta-Akyea said the cleaning exercise was intended to “raise the conscience of our people” to desist from the sub-culture of dumping garbage and filth from their homes into open drains.
The minister said drainage systems were not intended to be a receptacle for filth, but purposed to allow the free flow of sewage, otherwise, when the drains become much silted “and because we are in a raining season, a downpour can cause flooding,” he said.
He said the Ghana Metrological Agency has forecast heavy rainfalls this year, there was, therefore, the need to desilt gutters in major cities not only in Accra, Kumasi, but Koforidua and other areas, to curb flooding that could destroy lives, property and livelihoods.
Mr Atta-Akyea, therefore, urged the people to voluntarily clean their environment to ensure cleanliness in their surroundings, adding that “filth is associated with ill-health.”
“Some of the health challenges we face in this country such as diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid and others, are all filth-related, so when we clean our environment we give ourselves good health,” he said.
The Municipal Chief Executive for New Juaben, Mr Isaac Appaw-Gyasiu Gyasi, noted the huge amount of rubbish, especially plastics, dumped in drains in the area, and expressed the readiness of the assembly to go all-out to enforce the sanitation by-laws.