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General News Sat, 31 Jul 2010

Ghana's Capital Accra Stinks

THE MUCH-touted ‘millennium city’ Accra, which happens to be the capital of Ghana, is almost clad in darkness and literally stinking to the highest heavens.

DAILY GUIDE sent reporters to some streets and pavements of Accra, including market places like Agbogbloshie, Makola and Kantamanto and other lorry stations at Kwame Nkrumah circle, Kaneshie and the Tema station and reports they brought were nothing palatable since most of them could not behold the sight and smell of carcasses emitting from sprawling refuse, some of which have been left unattended to for almost two weeks.

This leaves much to be desired of those individuals and institutions who are responsible for the day-to-day administration of Accra, taking into consideration the tons of refuse that are piling up, even on some principle streets in the central business district and residential areas.

This raises questions as to whether or not Accra indeed deserves to be branded as a ‘millennium city’, in view of the fact that refuse are sprawling all over the place, with refuse containers overflowing with filth.

It has thus become a norm than a mere fashion to see people covering their noses with handkerchiefs while walking in town these days.

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Accra city Mayor, Dr Alfred Oko Vanderpuye, admits there is a problem at hand.

In an interview with DAILY GUIDE, he noted that the situation is under control since according to him, the Assembly is embarking on a new refuse collection programme which would eventually end the woes of residents of Accra.

Under the current provisions, he said the 11 sub metros in the region have been assigned to 9 waste management companies which started operating in the first week of July 2010. He believes this is what is causing the problem and expressed hope that sooner than later Accra will be rid of filth.

One other thing that seems to be bothering several residents of Accra is the issue of the darkness that befalls the capital city when the sun goes down, since most of the streetlights on the streets and pavements of the capital city, including some principal streets, are not functioning, not to mention the lots of malfunctioning traffic lights.

Meanwhile, each household, or better still electricity meter, is surcharged for streetlight each time Ghanaians go to pay their electricity bills.

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Even when there are no blackouts (light off), most of the street lamps do not function.

On the issue of the streetlights, Mr. Vanderpuye said “some of them are so old… it’s not easy to get the parts to replace the whole functioning system.”

He said “we are still monitoring them. Our objective is to get every street light working.”

By Charles Takyi-Boadu

Source: DAILY GUIDE