Minister Apologises For Uncollected Waste Days After Clean-Up Exercise

Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Julius Debrah has expressed regret over the failure of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to clear the heaps of debris days after the maiden nationwide clean-up exercise. The much publicized first-ever national sanitation campaign recorded a remarkable participation from the citizenry, including President John Mahama, Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur and the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. But the garbage is still left uncollected in many areas, four days after the exercise. The Minister had issued a directive to the MMDAs to ensure the waste is cleared within 48-hours, but this has not been the case in most areas across the country. Tuesday’s rains experienced in Accra and its environs have raised fears of a possible health hazard in a nation that is already struggling to deal with the outbreak of the cholera disease that has killed at least 200 people in less than six months. Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Wednesday, November 5, 2014, Mr. Debrah noted that “Unfortunately, even as at yesterday [Tuesday] the report we got indicated that some of them [Assemblies] could not get this done”. “I’m very sorry and I apologise for the inaction on the part of our MMDCEs and their inability to collect the debris,” the Minister told sit-in-host Francis Abban. The widespread nature of the situation indicates a possible challenge the assemblies may be facing which the Minister said would be addressed on Thursday, when a review meeting on the first National Sanitation Day which came off on Saturday, November 1, would be held. “I will not be surprised [to learn] that some of our DCEs are still struggling to understand the angle that we want to go, but I believe…we have to make it work”. Government in its determination to correct the country’s poor sanitary condition has set the first Saturday in every month for a nationwide clean-up exercise. The next exercise is scheduled for Saturday, December 6, 2014 and Mr. Debrah is optimistic of full participation by the Assemblies to make it a success.