The Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Dr Freda Prempeh, has tasked Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to introduce sanctions for private waste collection companies who fail to do their jobs.
She said the assemblies should introduce provisions in their contracts with the companies that would require them to pay fines or forfeit part of their charges if they left waste bins uncollected.
She gave the directive yesterday when she visited Nima-Mamobi and old Fadama in Accra to inspect sanitation conditions there, following last Friday’s flood, and ahead of World Clean-up day on Saturday.
At Mamobi, many drains were chocked with garbage especially plastics, while waste bins were overflowing because they had not been emptied by private waste collection companies for weeks.
Many food vendors in the area were selling near these choked drains and heaps of rubbish, despite the house flies which were hovering around the environment.
Some houses had been built on water ways, preventing free-flow of water.
Dr Prempeh who expressed displeasure over the situation charged the Ayawaso East and North Assemblies to ensure that gutters were desilted and garage cleared.
She said although the Ministry had the mandate to collaborate with the assemblies, they should be proactive in dealing with issues of sanitation because it was linked to health.
“This refuse is under the purview of the assembly; they have signed contracts with private service providers and they are supposed to ensure they collect the garbage; this garbage is about two weeks old.
“We should not take excuses from the services providers that their cars had broken down, or their drivers are sick and all that. There should be a provision in the bylaws to surcharge them,” she said.
Dr Prempeh said the drains in the area would be upgraded under the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development Project (GARID) project, but the assembly should desilt them for now.
As part of efforts to change public attitude towards cleanliness, she said the ministry would soon roll out a behaviour change campaign dubbed “Sesa wo Suban (Change your attitude).”
She advised the public against littering, improper waste disposal and building on water ways, as they contributed to the flooding in the communities and destruction of property.
Touching on Saturday’s World clean-up day, she said the ministry would collaborate with the assemblies nationwide to clean their respective communities.
She urged all citizens to come out in their numbers on Saturday to support the national event meant to promote good hygiene and prevent the outbreak of diseases in the country.
Ahead of the world clean-up day, she directed the Ayawaso North and East Assemblies to announce and ensure that no shops or stores were opened on Saturday between 6:00 am and 10:00 am until the clean-up was over.