Africa and Sub-Saharan African Environmental IssuesEnvironmental IssuesPollution

Heap of waste left uncollected after the first day of ‘Operation Clean Your Frontage’ 

By Samuel Nyigmabo

Accra, Feb.2, – The ‘Operation Clean Your Frontage’ which kicked off yesterday February 1, 2022, saw many residents and traders within the Greater Accra Region participate in the exercise. The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey who launched the exercise at the Black Stars square charged residents to fully participate in the exercise to make ‘Accra work again’.

About 30,000 personnel from the Security Service, National Service, ZoomLion, and the 13 Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies were deployed as taskforce to ensure compliance and strict implementation of the policy.

A visit by to the Central Business Unit around Rawlings Park at 2:30 pm saw lumps of uncollected debris which has taken part of the congested road causing human and vehicular traffic.

The first welcome to place was the terrible smell emanating from semi-moist heaps of waste by the edges of the road. Every pedestrian who was passing by was seen covering the nose with either a hand or a handkerchief except those who wore the nose mask.

Some of the traders who were trying to gather the ‘Bola’ agreed to speak to us.

Hajia Tawia sells household provisions on her medium size table and sits 5 meters away from one of the many heaps of garbage. She said they participated in the cleaning exercise yesterday and gathered the rubbish there for personnel of Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to come and collect it but they never showed up. So they are trying to gather it themselves and call the private waste management companies to collect it for them.

“ Yesterday we cleaned the gutter and they said they will come to collect it but they haven’t come. Unless we call the ‘Kaya Bola’, so that is why we are gathering it, she said.

She lamented the skunky scent they have had to withstand since yesterday and called for officials of the AMA to come and do the needful.

“The putrid smell is disturbing us but what can we do? We have no option. We beg the AMA workers to come and collect the rubbish and save us from this bad scent”, she bemoaned.

Another trader, who sells footwear at the place agreed to speak under condition of anonymity and insinuated that the problem of uncollected rubbish in the market is not one of yesterday but a persistent one.

He said the ZoomLion workers who sweep the market in the evening after the closing of market activities leave the rubbish uncollected until the next day where they ( traders) either collected it themselves by hiring ‘Kaya Bola’ or they leave it like that.

He also hinted that sometimes the Nigeriens who stay within the market confront the ZoomLion Workers on why they leave the rubbish after sweeping but the sweepers continue in their unsavory act and the authorities seem unperturbed.

The act, he said is the cause of the persistent sanitation issues in the market as most times this rubbish finds its way back into the gutters causing the bad smell in the market and consequently flooding.

The Central Business Unit of Accra is one of the busiest places within the capital. Thousands of people daily shop from there but the sanitation problem within the market may soon deter people from patronizing the market again

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