One hundred and twenty-six persons were sanctioned in August this year by the three newly established sanitation courts in Accra.
The prosecution of the offenders followed their failure to comply with the environmental by-laws of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).
The action came after the establishment of the Sanitation Standards Implementation Committees (formerly known as Samansaman) in the 76 electoral areas in the capital by the AMA this year.
The Chief Executive of AMA, Dr Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, who made this known in Accra, said: “We will go all out against those who continue to flout sanitation by-laws of the assembly in order to keep the capital clean.”
He was speaking at a meeting between the Greater Accra Regional Co-ordinating Council and heads of departments and agencies as well as health personnel and assembly members in Accra.
The AMA boss briefed the participants on the various development projects that have been implemented by the assembly over the years.
Dr Vanderpuije said as part of the assembly’s resolve to tackle environmental sanitation challenges in the capital, the AMA had constituted the sanitation implementation committees in the various electoral areas under its jurisdiction.
He said the assembly had so far educated the sanitation officers on the environmental by-laws and equipped them with the requisite tools to enable them to exercise their mandate.
“The officers were charged to ensure effective communication between the assembly and the communities on the need to adhere to sanitation standards. They were also urged to ensure that every household has a dustbin and to get waste contractors to collect waste promptly”, the AMA Chief Executive said.
“These officers are to prosecute citizens who fail to comply with environmental laws,” he stated.
Dr Vanderpuije acknowledged that the discharge of untreated liquid waste into the sea at the Lavender Hill in Accra had contributed to the cholera outbreak in the capital.
“The dumping of liquid waste into the sea is contributing to the cholera epidemic in Accra because cholera is a liquid waste issue. The waste goes into the ocean daily and people are swimming every day in the sea and drinking the water.
“If we do not stop dumping untreated waste in the sea, we will continue to have the epidemic on our hands,” he stated.
To address the challenge, the AMA Chief Executive said the assembly had over the past six months installed digesters at the Lavender Hill in Accra to help “reduce raw dumping by the over 68 waste trucks by one-third”.
“These digesters help to treat the liquid wastes before they are released into the ocean,” Dr Vanderpuije said, giving an assurance that the assembly would soon bring in more of such devices and “hopefully, we will replace the Lavender Hill site with digesters,” he said.
Source: Daily Graphic
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