Opinions Wed, 29 May 2013

Keeping Ghana clean, action not words

Over and over again we know and are made aware of the need to keep Ghana clean but it is as if we take one step forward and two steps backwards. Refuse are all over, we litter anyhow with no sense of guilt for our actions. Not that we don’t know, we do but the delivery capacity is the problem. It is one thing knowing and another doing, one thing preaching virtue and another practicing. The Good Samaritan could have passed by with his good intentions, what made the difference is he acted on it and by so doing distinct himself from the others. The world suffers not because of the wickedness of evil people, but because good people like you and I stand aloof and do nothing. If all you do is nothing, expect nothing. It’s as simple as that, you can’t only expect and hope that someday, someone somewhere will get a change. We are the change they hoped for yesterday, we should be up and doing and stop grumbling every now and then. Our gutters are choked not with only sand but waste of all degrees from plastic to debris. These days you see one or two people picking pure water sachets but what about the other plastic wastes. They can all be recycled. The rains are coming again, which outlets should it resort to when our gutters are choked.

Alluding to the fact that scientific research has shown that plastic waste takes close to 500 years to decompose, are we not doing our farmers and other land tillers a great disservice with our indiscriminate littering? These days when you dig all you see is plastic waste. Littering all over should cease especially in our lorry stations. These bookmen and lorry station associations take dues, money from drivers and other tokens; they should provide enough bins all over to prevent filth from heaping all over our stations. Our shores and river bodies are not left out, dumping of waste into and around them must cease. The Zoomlion workers are doing their best, we thank them but we shouldn’t litter with the aim that they will be up to their task. Recently, I heard a young man telling his colleague to dump a plastic sachet he was holding anywhere because Zoomlion will come and get it. The onus of keeping the country tidy lies on all of us, today as you pass by our roads, market, stations and other places, notice all the refuse around and think of what could have happened if we had acted right.

Today I challenge you not to litter around, have the guts to right that trotro mate or passenger throwing rubbish outside a moving van, even including spitting indiscriminately. We cannot change the whole country at a time but we can start with an individual at a time and by so doing indirectly affect the entire nation, and project the image of an environment we and tourists alike will be proud of, preach cleanliness to someone today, tell a friend to tell a friend, I just started with you, pass it on, cleanliness they say is next to Godliness. Also, preserve a water body today, and save our planet and save a life tomorrow.

Columnist: Dale-Asiedu, Michael