'As if some mad people live here'; a state of sanitation address

Dirty Filty File photo

Wed, 27 Feb 2019 Source: Isaac Ato Mensah

The best photojournalism prizes are no doubt won by persons with great cameras and superlative technical and artistic skills.

Our Online Journalism campaign is being done with a simple smartphone; no cropping, no editing of photographs and very minimal to no captions……and hardly any artistic and technical abilities.

We simply take raw pictures and let them speak to the reality on the ground.

On Wednesday, as I walked on the Starlets’ 91 Road, from the Ministries Traffic Light towards the Accra Sports Stadium, I saw madness.

It was in my face as I walked on the pavement right behind three mega ministries.

Name them – Ministry of Sanitation; Ministry of Works and Housing; and Ministry of Railway Development.

‘As if some mad people live here,’ my mentor must surely be known for the title of this article. ‘How can you reasonably expect people to buy into your grandiose plans if you are sitting in a refuse dump of your own making and will not fix it,’ he will add in total exasperation.

For our readers who are not familiar with Ghana, this road is the main boulevard within the Ministries enclave of Accra.

The original name was changed and given to the Black Starlets, Ghana’s Under 17 Male Soccer Team for winning the FIFA World Cup.

In other words, it was named because we were elated to honour the team and ensure that their feat should never be forgotten.

Thus when people from all the seven continents on earth walk or drive on that street looking for favours from politicians, they should be tempted to ask: ‘Who or what are starlets ’91’?

And now ‘See this our fathers did for us’.

Meanwhile, this is what ‘my guys’ at those culprit ministries rapped POTROG to put in the State of the Nation’s Address delivered to Parliament on Thursday.

‘Last year, I reiterated before you my pledge of improving sanitation in the country, and making Accra the cleanest city in Africa, by the end of my first term…… There has been a significant improvement in sanitation, though, I acknowledge, more can be done. However, this is currently the state of play………

………In 2019, apart from continuing with educating and sensitizing people, we intend to use the bye-laws to enforce cleanliness. The Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Sanitation are working together to try sanitation offences. Persons who litter would be tried and punished, and so would

those who steal litter bins from our streets.’

These pictures show the state of play as POTROG was speaking.

Now, are you going to stop this madness or you are going to Suale the messenger?

What is the right thing and do we have the …… OK, guts to do it?

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Columnist: Isaac Ato Mensah