By: Adzo Kafui Nuku Dey |
Dear President Akufo-Addo:
I am writing this letter to commend you on your efforts to make Accra the cleanest city in Ghana by 2024. With this huge aspiration in mind, I will humbly suggest that every individual should be involved in this dream for it to be a reality.
If the government spends large amounts of money cleaning the city but citizens are not given hope and reassurance that the changes are worth it, every effort will be in vain. The cleanliness of Accra should be from our homes and our citizen’s hearts. As it is said, charity begins at home.
First, I recommend that chiefs and traditional leaders should be tasked to make sure their members keep their immediate environment clean. This in mind, assemblymen and women should also be tasked to work with their metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to keep their surroundings clean. Higher authorities should be summoned if their area fails to abide by such rules and served the necessary punishment.
It begins with our leaders. People follow those in charge, and if our leaders are doing their duties to clean and maintain their immediate environment, the everyday citizen will follow. A good example of this is what the chief of Assin, Nana Prah Agyensaim has done in his township.
Second, small scale businesses should be issued letters to keep their surroundings clean. Any business that fails to uphold the cleanliness required of them should be served court notice and fined if found guilty.
In fact, all violators of the rules and regulations to make Accra the cleanest city should be summoned and fined if found guilty. Any car station that fails to abide by the rules and regulations will have to be levied, and all operators and vendors should be fined.
Big businesses in Accra should also not be left out, for they should be held even more responsible given their stature. Social institutions cannot be left out either, schools and churches included. Churches need to be tasked to use their positive influence over others to encourage keeping their environment and communities clean.
With all of these institutions in mind, churches, schools, and businesses, big and small, need to be assigned a street in their community to clean and maintain. These streets will be adopted by the individual schools and churches and are to be clean on a monthly basis. This is an easy method to ensure the cleanliness of specific areas.
Third, there are a lot of people behind bars in Ghana that could be used to further our cleanliness goal. Perhaps even some of the prisoners deserve community service as a sentence over jailing.
The high courts, circuit courts, and tribunal courts should make it a priority to ensure criminal offenders are made to do community services instead of jailing if their violation does not justify imprisonment. This can help with the cleanliness of the city.
Finally, my concern falls on how most Ghanaians compare our country to the United States of America yet these very citizens fail to do their part in making Accra clean. Thus, I will like to suggest a sanitation law be passed where tickets will be issued to anyone in violation of the rules and regulations in regards to sanitation and cleanliness.
Car stations and markets, two of the dirtiest places in Accra, need sanitation officers’ station to watch over and moderate the area. There should be enough labeled bins, such as paper, plastic, and trash, to encourage productive behaviours like recycling and not littering. Everyone needs to be tasked to be a watchwoman or man. To put power in people’s hands will spark a thrill to aid the efforts in cleaning up Accra.
I would like to end with this: without disciplined and encouraged citizens, our county cannot be clean. The cleanliness of Accra should be everyone’s concern. Politics need to be put aside, and Ghana placed first. If people can keep their houses and cars clean, the same attitude can be applied to the streets.
The cleanliness of Accra should rise above the politics of the city, and instead be a fire inside of each citizen’s heart. If this fire is sparked and fueled by our leadership, then Accra will be the cleanest city in the world by 2024.
NB: The writer is a 29-year-old Ghanaian from Ho, Volta Region based in Oklahoma, US. She is a student and a lead laboratory technician at Oklahoma Blood Institute.