The Ablekuma North Municipal Assembly in the Greater Accra Region has arrested 48 residents, landlords and shop owners for not cleaning their surroundings.
Looking morose and sounding very apologetic, they were issued with arrest warrants and are expected to be arraigned before a law court within the week.
Their offences range from living in very dirty environments including uncleaned homes for years, overgrown weeds, dirty and choked gutters both inside and outside their houses, filthy frontage and storage of dirty materials at home.
Areas covered during the exercise which took place during the weekend include Darkuman East and West, Odorkor, Odorkor Official Town, Kwashieman and Awoshie.
At certain areas, the Environmental Health Officers had to cover their noses with tissues although they were wearing nose masks because the stench emanating from some of the drains inside some of the houses were nauseating.
Rubbish-choked gutters inside and outside houses that had become breeding grounds for mosquitoes were a common feature in a lot of the houses, whiles alleys and frontages were littered with rubbish.
Environmental Health Officers dressed in reflective jackets used the opportunity to also educate and sensitise the people on the need for cleanliness, the launch of the Operation Clean Your Frontage Exercise in Accra and the personal and legal consequences if they do not keep a clean environment.
The Municipal Chief Executive of the Ablekuma North Municipal, Mr Kofi Ofori, told the Daily Graphic that the exercise was also to create more awareness about the need to keep clean Environment and educate more people the ‘Operation clean the Frontage”.
"This is a nine-day wonder, from tomorrow, we will send men to come round and check if the things we have told them to do have been done, if they haven't cleared it, we will apply our laws," he said.
He added that frequent sensitisation exercises had been done in the localities so the people were well-informed about the operation and what was expected of them.
He cautioned that those arrested could face fines or jail terms.
A trader at Odorkor, Mr William Annor Osei told the Daily Graphic that sellers usually swept their shops daily before daily activities but expressed worry about the lack of rubbish bins and advised all sellers to place dustbins in their shops.
He also mentioned that one of the main challenges was getting people to collect the rubbish away, adding that at times the overflowing rubbish bins could be there for weeks with no waste management vehicle coming for them.
A resident, Mr Emmanuel Arthur, said it was the responsibility of residents to keep their surroundings clean, noting, "We are calling on the government to fix the country, if we want the country fixed, we also have to take up the responsibility and fix our environment".
He also added that their complaints to the Assembly about the lack of waste collection by the refuse collection companies seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.
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