Zoomlion Supports NADMO To Prosecute Sanitation Offenders

Zoomlion Ghana Limited has indicated its support to the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) to introduce the community sanitation monitoring taskforce to arrest and prosecute people who break environmental sanitation by-laws in the country.

The waste management company welcomed the decision of NADMO to prosecute sanitation offenders, since, according to the company; it would go a long way to serve as a deterrent to all others who show utter disregard for the environment through their objectionable behaviours and practices.

Speaking in an interview with Okay FM in Accra recently, Communications Manager of Zoomlion, Mr. Robert Tetteh Coleman, lauded NADMO for striving to partner waste management contractors in Ghana to punish and also sensitise the people on the need to change from practices that negatively affect the serenity of the environment to enable the people enjoy good health and sound living.

The comment by Mr. Coleman came after a deputy Director of NADMO, Mr. Evans Anakwa, hinted onOkay FM that his outfit has established the community sanitation monitoring taskforce to arrest and prosecute anyone found guilty of dumping refuse into gutters in Ghana.

“I believe NADMO can perform its duty well by punishing sanitation offenders to face the full rigours of the law. For instance, those who violate it,” the Zoomlion communication manager emphasised.

According to Mr. Coleman, if the people who abuse the environment were severely dealt with by taking those offenders to the sanitation court it would serve as a warning to others to change their attitude towards the environment.

He stated that the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) should no longer spare people who engage in open defecation or litter the environment, charging the assembles to activate and vigorously enforce sanitation by-laws to deal with those who litter the environment.

“Go to Chorkor and many of parts of Accra and you would observe that residents are dumping solid wastes, especially plastics, into open drains and gutters.

“And this practice, residents do during the night or sometimes when it is about to rain with the knowledge that the refuse will be washed away by the rains,” he noted.

“This reckless attitude of people dumping in waterways and gutters shattered the lives of many people on June 3, 2015…there could be a repetition of June 3, 2015 misfortune. And that is why my outfit is doing everything possible to ensure proper flow of water in Accra in the heart of this year’s raining season,” he worriedly expressed.

Mr. Coleman was answering questions posed by Kwame Nkrumah ‘Tikese,’ host of “Ade Akye Abia” morning show on Okay FM on measures put in place by Zoomlion to desilt gutters as this year’s rain sets in.

Kwame Nkrumah ‘Tikese’s question comes following Monday’s rains which flooded some parts of Accra including Kaneshie, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, New Town, parts of Asylum Down, Mataheko, Manhean Papaye etc.

He noted that “it is not that the waste management companies are not doing their job well but it is we the public who are stubborn and do not do what is right.”

He warned of the consequences of floods which could lead to outbreak of diseases including cholera, diarrhea among others.

He observed that the said areas were flooded as a result of dumping of refuse into the drains, adding that “if we do not change our bad attitude towards our environment and do what is expected of us, government will not be able to have more funds to build schools, hospitals and rods.”

According to Mr. Coleman, the environmental sanitation issues are not the responsibilities of the central government and waste management companies only, but a shared one, calling on the media to help deal with people who pollute the environment.

He appealed to Ghanaians, particularly residents in Ghana’s capital, Accra, to desist from littering the streets and dumping refuse into water bodies as these practices tend to negatively affect the community and its people through the outbreak of diseases.

He predicted that Accra risks experiencing more floods, if residents, especially those in flood-prone areas, do not refrain from the “habit of dumping solid wastes into drains and gutters.”

“We should expect more floods in Accra if people do not change their lifestyles and attitudes towards the environment,” Mr. Coleman cautioned.

Mr. Coleman also called on institutions, religious bodies, Imams and the traditional authorities to come together and educate Ghanaians on the need to keep the environment clean and stop practices that are likely to cause floods.

He urged Assembly members to set up sanitation taskforce which should be charged with the responsibility of ensuring that people do not litter indiscriminately and dump refuse into drains.

“…and the taskforce must equally ensure that those found culpable of dumping into drains and littering indiscriminately are dealt with by the law,” he stressed.

He said the district assemblies should collaborate with the judiciary to set up more sanitation courts in the districts to prosecute and offer stiffer punishments to offenders.

Mr. Coleman stressed the need for the district assemblies to revise their by-laws, adding that the environmental sanitation health workers must also be up and doing.

He noted that some of the by-laws particularly those on environmental sanitation, were outmoded.