General News Fri, 16 Jan 1998

Bill On Disposal Of Litter

Accra (Greater Accra), 15 Jan., A bill which will make it an offence to dispose of litter at places not designated for such purposes will soon be put before parliament. Mr. Lee Ocran, Deputy Minister of Environment, Science and Technology, told a press conference today that the bill will be jointly tabled by His Ministry and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development as part of measures to check environmental degradation and to improve sanitation in the country. Mr. Ocran said the compliance enforcement network, established by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) which has the responsibilities for the sustainable management of the environment will now be extended to cover the activities of individuals who flow environmental laws. "Individuals will be arrested and prosecuted for flouting and polluting the environment. I want to assure the public that this is not going to be a nine days' wonder". Mr. Ocran said his ministry is also reviewing various international conventions on waste management "so that Ghana can ratify them, if these are in the best interest of the country". He attributed the filth engulfing the country to indiscipline and said it is the view of the government that "we should now enter the stage where action should be the watchword". He said President Rawlings has expressed his concern about the current state of sanitation in Accra and its environs and has given his backing to whatever means to be adopted in cleaning up the city. The action to be taken would be guided by respect for the laws of the country. The GPRTU and other similar bodies are being charged to take action in establishing appropriate systems for managing the past generated at lorry parks. Mr. Ocran urged residents not to dispose rubbish into gutters in front of their houses but should take time off to desilt their choked gutters. On pollution from vehicles, the ministry will soon start enforcing rules to get vehicles with smoke off the roads and prosecute motorists whose vehicles are found spewing smoke. The Deputy Minister said as a first step in the programme for keeping the villages, towns and cities clean, the ministry will join AMA to promote clean-up activities and campaigns in some communities in the metropolis.



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