Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Zooming in on Madina

If you asked me to name places in Accra with poor sanitation Madina will definitely slip out of my mouth. The gutters by the street dividing the market and the police station are properly choked. It's so bad that even lunatics hate it; one day one of them got down into the gutter and was scooping things out with his bare hands (eeew 'something was doing me' too).

Occasionally the gutters are cleared up, but where do they leave the waste? Right at the mouth of the gutter. So within days, while unscrupulous dudes drop all sorts of new matter, the old ones join them back in.
So these things go on and people with 'green' minds are not moved when EPA or Ministry of Environment is mentioned. A recent National Sanitation Taskforce Program (NSTP) put in place has even attracted more questions about it's necessity and people are casting doubts about its impact.

To start with, NSTP and Zoomliom Waste Management have partnered to form Zoom Alliance. Among things they are doing such as making radio announcements calling on all of us to desist from indiscriminate disposal of plastic waste, they are also organising clean-up exercises.


Last Saturday as I passed through Madina I witnessed one of the clean-ups. Men and women in blue (Zoomlion) and yellow (NSTP) had thronged that famous street, desilting the heavily choked open gutters - and I don't need to tell you where they were dumping their collection. But there was something different this time - behind them was another group scooping the waste into one of the popular Zoomlion trucks. At that volume, I bet there would have been a cholera outbreak at Madina by now if they had not collected the waste. This is the second time I'm seeing this at Madina and I think they have started on a good note, I hope it's not a nine days' wonder.

While we commend Zoom Alliance for the positive beginnings we still need to ask more questions. Where are they dumping the waste? Are there any plans to recycle those can be recycled? When will we citizens change our attitudes towards the environment? How are we, as individuals,  empowered to check our fellow citizens who dump waste anywhere and anyhow? When will our political leaders and government stop paying lip service, see sanitation as a priority and rise up to the task?

We"ll not stop talking until we see a change, and we'll act where we can.

Keep talking about sanitation and the environment, keep Ghana clean.






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