The problem of solid, liquid, and toxic-waste management believed to have come with urbanization in developing countries like Ghana is attributed to rapid growth in population and general indiscipline.
Though Urban Waste Management is drawing increasing attention, it is evident that too much garbage lies uncollected on the streets, and in the gutters of our cities with little being done to change the trend, outcomes of which include: inconvenience, environmental pollution, public health risk among others.
The latest city to face fast growing rate in filth generation is the Volta Regional capital, Ho, where gutters being filled with garbage is becoming a normal phenomenon. This condition many fear if not dealt with urgently will cover the entire city in filth.
Areas such as the drain between the OLA and Market road through Anlokordzi is an eyesaw. Another place of concern is the drainage near the Goil Filling Station around SIC. The Housing Foot Bridge between Market and Dome and the Taso Foot Bridge between Civic Centre and K.K. House also leave much to be desired.
A shoe mender, Ametame Manya expressed worry at the situation saying, “The issue has become a headache to those of us living around gutters in Ho because people collect waste from their homes and dump it into the gutters. When we are working during the day we find it very difficult to breathe because of the stench coming from the gutters.”
Douglas Tornyemayor, a tailor lamented that “We are suffering. People do take away (human waste) from their homes and drop it in the gutters making every place smell like faeces. We are afraid that when the rains come the city will flood.”
Senyegbe Etsoravanyo, a JHS 2 pupil said “as the raining season is fast approaching, we are scared; if care is not taken, the poor disposal of waste will lead to a high incidence of sanitation related illness, such as cholera, intestinal worms and typhoid.”
The Deputy Municipal Environmental Health Officer, Divine Sokah said his outfit has over the years taken steps to keep the city clean but yielded little results.
According to him, the office engaged in radio and house to house education on proper waste management and also implemented house to house distribution of waste bin in the Municipality. However, people were adamant to pay and collect the bins.
He said a bin goes for 30 Ghana Cedis per month so he is unable to understand why it is difficult for households to own a bin. He therefore, attributed the improper disposal to the perception of waste as an unwanted material with no intrinsic value.
Although Mr. Sokah said the office will continue to engage residents to effect behavioural change, he warned that his outfit had taken and will continue to take punitive measures against perpetrators explaining, first time offenders are given notice of abatement, secondly spot fine is charged and for the last resort, victim is arraigned before court.
He commended the two waste management companies in the Municipality, Zoomlion, and Zattis and Fellis for their hard work and called on all to collect the waste bin being distributed across the city for use to promote government’s clean Ghana Agenda.
By Collins Anku/voltaonlinegh.com