Former President Jerry John Rawlings has called for the creation of committee vigilante groups to augment the government’s agenda to fix the country’s sanitation challenges.
“No one supports thugs parading as vigilantes. No one!” he said, “however, the need for responsible community vigilantes to protect the environment is an absolute necessity and absolute must, especially, against the random and persistent dumping refuse along roadsides.”
“There’s no reason why such vigilantes cannot be mobilized to play a responsible supporting role to the security agencies,” he added.
Mr. Rawlings made this call Friday, December 14, 2018, during the 12th Thanks Giving Service of Jospong Group of Companies in Accra.
According to Mr. Rawlings, a certain effort and committed is needed from all Ghanaians to fix effectively the country’s sanitation challenges.
He said the role of government in ensuring the problem is confronted in a serious manner cannot be overemphasized saying: “No amount of innovation by you [Zoomlion Ghana Limited] or your competitors or the government will succeed if we the Ghanaian refuse to be committed to strict environmental habit.”
“While there’s governmental commitment to a cleaner environment and efficient management of waste, I have to emphasize that we as ordinary Ghanaians have to appreciate the need to change our ways and commit ourselves to desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse especially in our water bodies, reckless defecation on our coastal belt, and criminal dumping of bucket loads of refuse by small-scale refuse collection businesses at unapproved site, especially on the shoulders of our roads,” Mr. Rawlings stressed.
Describing the global sanitation challenges as “very bad” Mr Rawlings observed: “Available records indicate that globally we dump 8million metric tons of plastics in the ocean annually. The situation is very bad.
“The situation is so bad that now the marine organisms including the fishes we eat now feed on plastics because they have become part of the ocean’s ecology. What this means is that those of us who continue to consume fish as a healthy form of food may very well be consuming plastics on a regular basis.
“If the current rate of dumping continues by 2050, thirty years from now it is expected that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.”