City authorities in Kumasi, the Ashanti Region capital, are emphasising anti-littering and tree-planting initiatives in a renewed effort to overcome filth and promote the environment.
The metropolitan assembly is distributing an initial 1,000 waste bins across the city as it re-launches sanitation campaign dubbed, ‘Keep Kumasi Clean and Green’.
At a ceremony to mark World Environmental Day, City Mayor, Osei Assibey Antwi, said some corporate institutions have committed to the assembly’s cause to rid the city of filth.
Residents of Kumasi generate about 1,500 tonnes of waste daily.
The city’s central business district of Adum alone accounts for 250 tonnes of the quantity.
Waste collection alone costs the metro assembly millions of cedis. Currently, the assembly owes waste companies about GHS163 million prompting it to call on the government for a bailout.
Sweepers at the central market are also complaining about low remuneration for their services.
“We are marked GHS9 a day. The money is not enough so we need them to increase it. The work here in the central market is very hectic so they should try and increase our pay. We sweep the market and carry the waste away. We sometimes close at 1:00 am,” one of the sweepers lamented.
Assibey Antwi spells out what will go into the latest campaign after several of such initiatives have made little impact in the past.
“I’m not warning residents but I’m educating and informing residents that the war against indiscipline is not my war but our war. Therefore, let us all get involved. I’ll use this opportunity to invite the media which is a major stakeholder, to please dedicate some of their time every morning, afternoon and evening to preaching the gospel to keep the city clean and green.,” Mr Assibey explained.
He also revealed plans to partner recycling companies to turn waste into useful materials
“We’ve been trying to lure investors to come and process our waste. We met a countless number of investors. By the end of last year, we had met 52 investors…I do not see waste as a problem but as an opportunity to turn them into fertilizers and generate electricity,” he added.
Chairman of Operation Clean and Green, Committee, Professor Kwadwo Sarfo Kantanka, wants city authorities to introduce stiffer sanctions to deal with sanitation offenders.
“At least some of them must [serve as deterent]. When we begin to do this consistently for two years, we will make a lot of impact. The teachings the law enforcement and provision are still ongoing,” Professor Kwadwo Sarfo said.