Mr Ishmael Ashitey, Greater Accra Regional Minister, has charged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the Region to strictly enforce their sanitation bye laws devoid of political interference.
Mr Ashitey said the indiscriminate dumping of refuse, open defecation and other sanitation challenges are high in the Greater Accra Region due to the inability of the Assemblies to enforce the laws including the prosecution of perpetrators.
He noted that “all these things are happening because you are not enforcing the laws even though you have the power to do so”.
He charged them on Wednesday when he opened a three-day annual conference of the Greater Accra Presiding Members’ Conference on the theme: “Improve sanitation management in all MMDAs – the role of presiding members”.
He urged them not to allow politicians, opinion leaders, and other known persons to intervene in such matters but rather resolve to implement the laws and create sanitation courts to speed up prosecution.
The Regional Minister reminded the 25 Presiding Members to support their respective Assemblies to fight against bad sanitation practices such as open defecation and wanton disposal of waste in their respective areas.
He advised them not to lose sight of the perennial flooding of Accra during the rainy season and ensure that the Assemblies desilted gutters, cleaned drains and removed all debris in waterways.
Mr Ashitey further instructed MMDAs to immediately clear all unauthorized structures springing up in their areas but should not wait for slums to be created before attempting to demolish which would lead to public outcry.
Mr Amuyao David Narh, National Chairman for Presiding Members, in a welcoming address, said for the country to be clean, leaders and citizens needed to practice sanitation management in all the MMDAs.
Mr Narh added that Sanitation management required enforcement of their bye-laws, indicating however that the obsolete ones needed to be amended while new ones introduced to cater for modern needs.
Mr Joseph Korto, Secretary, Greater Accra Presiding Members Conference, called for the payment of salaries to Assembly Members just like the Article 71 holders to cater for their welfare.