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“THE INDEPENDENCE SQUARE APPROACH”

My Riposte for a Cleaner Ghana

Editorial: F. Kojo Kyeremeh, GAJ March 7, 2018

Indeed, our dear Motherland, Ghana, is 61! We are elated to celebrate this milestone. However, as we celebrate, let us pause to consider how we can make Ghana even better than she finds herself today.

As a country, we are beginning to run out of ideas on how to arrest our unending sanitation crisis. Why are our cities so filthy? Is it that the government is not doing enough to clean up the mess? No!

Sanitation is one of the few areas that we need to challenge ourselves as a people, to take very seriously; we must take a personal pledge, not to add anymore indiscriminate waste to what’s already out there. As individuals, we share a collective responsibility to ensure that we change our attitudes and daily practices towards our environment. It is no longer cool to litter after you drink your pure water; it is not cool to “piss” under a tree simply because you couldn’t time yourself until you found a designated restroom; it is not cool to go into the bushes or near our beautiful lakes to handle your business; it is not cool to eat from a bus or tro-tro and throw your debris through the window.

There are some few places Ghanaians ascribe some measure of reverence to; our national monuments and our places of worship. I am often amazed whenever I drive by the Black Star Square in Osu, Accra. It is usually so serene and pristine. The amazing part is that you don’t even see our people loitering within the square as they do in other places; even our brothers and sisters who are mentally challenged seem to understand somehow, that the Black Star Square is off limits.

When it comes to the environment, why can’t we consider our communities and streets as equally sacrosanct, just as we do our churches and monuments? Abomination? I read somewhere that “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” Hmmm Ghana…I am beginning to wonder.

Our law enforcement officers should take on the additional duty of checking on people who denigrate the environment, just as much as they pursue criminals. The various MDA’s should step up their game in enforcing local ordinances; our “Tank as” system was effective in holding people accountable to the environment, let’s bring it back.

No number of Skyscrapers or National monuments can make our national landscape look any more beautiful if we don’t perform our basic duty of maintaining a clean environment. No number of neon-lights can cover up the mess near our glass-mansions come daylight.

We have no right as citizens to bastardize and degrade our environment like we have so carelessly done for the last six decades; it is a national embarrassment.

Let us endeavor to change our collective attitudes towards the environment now, or else our fly-overs, our airport refurbishments and even our National Cathedral would only render mother Ghana a mediocre nation trying to look “cool” in the eyes of the world.

Source: GAJ

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