A country’s sanitation reveals a lot about the standard of living and life expectancy of its people. Many diseases would be non existent if sanitation was improved. Cholera, typhoid, dysentery, and intestinal worm infections are examples.

We shall not defeat any of the infectious diseases that plague the developing world until we have also won the battle for safe drinking water, sanitation, and basic health care.

Kofi Annan

As part of Ghana’s goal to be a leading example of development in Africa and beyond, it has begun a sanitation project to improve the recycling, drainage, and waste management habits of the country. The project is called “Operation Clean Your Frontage” which was launched in October last year and commenced in February this year. Presently, the focus of the project is Accra, the capital city of Ghana with a later plan to extend to all other regions. The aim of the Ghanaian government is to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa. 

As the hub of tourism on the continent, it is a necessary goal to also make it the hub of good sanitation. This will ensure that indigenes and tourists enjoy a healthy experience of the country.   

The government is doing quite well in its attempt to promote the project. There have been a series of sensitisation campaigns in all parts of the capital, and on all social media platforms including all national television channels. On the dawn of 1st February this year, the Regional Minister and his team, along with about 5,500 personnel, including 2,000 from the security services, 2,000 from the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) and Zoomlion Ghana, and 1,500 from the National Service Scheme (NSS), converged at the Black Star Square for briefings and deployment to various parts of the city. 

The Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Odawna, Lapaz, Okaishie, CMB, Kinbu (Tudu), Kaneshie (from First Light to Obetsebi Lamptey Circle), Farisco, and Accra’s Central Business District (CBD) were among the important places covered in the operation.

As part of the project, unauthorised structures were demolished,  structures that were most affected were those in waterways obstructing the natural flow of rivers, etc. Traders and hawkers in unauthorised areas were also relocated to reduce public nuisance and littering. To prevent the hawkers and traders from returning, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey indicated that preparations were underway to create a City Response Team which would serve as ‘city guards’ against unauthorised hawking and littering.

There have always been communal cleanup initiatives in Ghana, but the Clean Accra Project appears to be more organized and promises to be more effective than the others. Soon, Accra will be the cleanest city in Africa!

There is much more the government can do to address Ghana’s sanitation crisis, but for the time being, they appear to be on the right course.

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