The Flagstaff House is only about three minutes’ walk from the Netherlands Embassy, and anybody who has seen the two areas would concur with us that the latter has a more relaxing and picturesque background than our seat of government.
Whilst the grass cover on the compound and front view of the seat of government always looks brownish, the compounds of the Netherlands and American Embassies are always ever-green.
Interestingly, the two embassies pay water bills to the Ghana Water Company (GWC) and have Ghanaians as their gardeners, and these workers ensure that they work hard to impress their employers.
What is more, the workers report to work in time and adhere to strict rules set by their employers. The workers know where to drop their waste…they dare not mess up or they lose their daily bread!
What is making these two embassies get the best from our own people in our own backyard? Is there something we are not doing right as a country?
Let no Ghanaian assume that if persons put in authority are going to be strict and ensure that every Ghanaian respects our sanitation bylaws, our environment cannot be as clean as that of the American and Netherlands embassies!
We have said it before, and to re-echo it, our Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) must think outside the box, by employing the youth to regularly clean our roads and plant green grass and flowers in the medians of our dual carriages.
The assemblies’ bylaws on sanitation have been on a honeymoon for far too long, and so the heap of filth we live in. What we are all failing to understand is that until the MMDAs demonstrate their readiness to throw hard environmental officers out to prosecute bad characters, our environment would continue to be nauseating with sordid air.
As our MMDAs are demonstrating cowardice in biting the citizenry, the Sanitation Ministry and government must form a similar joint military and police taskforce like ‘Operation Vanguard’ to keep an eye on any citizen who drops litter on the ground.
We want the same the seriousness the state has attached to the fight against illegal mining, to be put in the fight against filth by forming the joint military and police sanitation taskforce.
Our land is not dirty; the people are dirty, and the sanitation taskforce can help instil the discipline of cleanliness in all of us.
In one of our local anthems, the chorus says: “If the country would develop, it would come from you and me. Our life-style would either make or unmake our country.”
Too much talk about human rights and democracy are making our life-styles drive our country into the ditch, with some business persons taking advantage of our irresponsibility to grow their businesses.
Count the number of mosquito insecticides on our market, and Ghanaians would fathom how our irresponsibilities are making some manufacturers richer than us the citizens.
As soon as possible, the Sanitation Minister and government must give us an ‘Operation Keep Ghana Clean’, irrespective of the furore this would generate by the citizenry or civil society groups.
Ghanaians love a beautiful environment, and the journey to that must aggressively start now!