In recent months we’ve seen Accra’s waste management system on the brink of collapse, followed – unsurprisingly – by a massive outbreak of cholera. This has prompted a long overdue clean-up of the city by the authorities.
The Ministry of Local government and Rural Development ( I think it should be renamed Local Government and URBAN development) plans to distribute a million free bins to citizens over the coming months. Well, people also need to take responsibility for their actions and the lawlessness must stop.
Recycling needs to be stepped up and to do this effectively, separation of waste is key. A pilot project in Zongo Junction is encouraging citizens to separate waste at source – and is proving effective. We should expand it.
In 2011 an environmental tax was introduced, in which all plastics coming into the country attract a duty of 10%. According to the act, the revenue raised is to be used to dispose of plastic waste. To date GHc35m has been collected, but not one pesewa of it spent; or is it spent elsewhere?
There is no question that waste separation and recycling are the solution to our sanitation problem. Yet bureaucrats drag their feet, and cholera rampages on. It makes no sense. It’s time for citizens to not only demand action, but to become actively involved in it.