Are we losing the fight against solid waste management?

Solid waste management is one of the major problems facing the country in recent times. The deadly perennial flooding of Accra as a result of rapid urbanisation, industrialisation and the predominant commercial activities have resulted in a rapid increase in the volume of waste generated, which causes significant health and environmental problems.

It has become a habit for some Ghanaians to indiscriminately dispose of garbage into the storm drains, as a result of inadequate disposal facilities. It is also worthy of note that some people engage in reckless disposal of garbage despite the fact that disposal sites are available and accessible to them.

After a heavy downpour experienced in Accra on Tuesday, March 7, this year, it resulted in roads being flooded disrupting traffic. Flood is inevitable when drainages are blocked. The garbage that are disposed into the storm drains are carried by rain water onto the streets.

Debris of plastics and other waste items littered roads after the rain posing danger to drivers and motorists. Some of these plastic wastes eventually end up in the sea and go a long way to destroy marine life. The depletion of aquatic ecosystems also triggers unbridled proliferation of phytoplankton in lakes which destroy water bodies.

It will be recalled that somewhere last year, the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council began the enforcement of its campaign to clean Accra under the project dubbed “Operation Clean Your Frontage”. The exercise is jointly being executed with Zoomlion Ghana Limited, the Ghana Armed Forces, the Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies and other partners.

The core aim of the operations is to enhance enforcement of the “Operation Clean Your Frontage” bye-law. The exercise provides the opportunity for the Environmental Health Officers to take immediate action against households and businesses that have not maintained a clean frontage and sanitised environment.

But is this campaign achieving its aim? We still see people disposing off waste indiscriminately and are left to go scot free. Ghana is ranked among the top 15 most polluted countries on earth, according to the data published by the University of Chicago’s 2021 Air Quality Life Index (AQLI). Not only is this not good news but the country is also prone to outbreak of dysentery, cholera and Lassa Fever among others.

Human activities along water channels and the resultant drainage clogging cannot be over emphasised. Unlawful waste dumping must be stopped through maintaining law and order. This can also be achieved through public announcement on social media and attaching penalties to any one going against the sanitation laws. It is for this reason that The Chronicle is urging the Assemblies to deal ruthlessly with anybody who disobeys the sanitation laws.


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