On Tuesday, Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) Chief Executive Alfred Oko Vanderpuije outlined efforts to curb sanitation indiscipline in the city.
As part of the programme, the assembly had established three sanitation courts in Ablekuma Central, Okaikoi North and La Dadekotopon.
He said as of June 30, 2011, 2,031 cases had been prosecuted at the Ablekuma Central Sanitation and Motor Court, 56 at Okaikoi North and 103 at the La Dadekotopon courts.
Speaking at the ongoing 64th Annual New Year School in Accra, Mr. Vanderpuije said plans are well underway to open a fourth court in the Osu Klotey Sub-Metro.
The Annual New Year School is being organized by the University of Ghana Institute of Continuing and Distance Education and sponsored by scores of institutions including Zoom Alliance, Ghana News Agency, Graphic Communications, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Ghanaian Times and Multimedia.
The conference is under the general theme: “The Key to Future Health of Our Nation: Improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene”.
Of the Legon Sewerage Treatment Plant, Mr. Vanderpuije said the construction of phase one of the plant is 100 per cent complete.
The AMA Chief Executive said that when completed, the plant would serve the University of Ghana, Institute of Professional Studies (IPS) and Presbyterian Secondary School (PRESEC) in Madina.
The second phase of this project is expected to include the rehabilitation of the entire sewerage network within the Legon campus and adjoining settlements, namely Haatso, Madina, West and East Legon.
In addition, there is an ongoing study into the possibility of linking the remaining sewer lines from Dansoman through Banana Inn to the Mudor Plant.
Furthermore, there will be studies to produce sewerage master plans to cover the road sewer network from Mallam to Abossey Okai through Mortuary Road to Korle Gonno and back to Dansoman along the beach, Mr. Vanderpuije said.
He added that the sanitation situation of Accra is far worse than that of advanced modern societies.
“In advanced modern societies both solid and liquid waste management was paid for by the generator while in our local cities management of waste was seen as a cost free responsibility of the state for that matter the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies.
“Again in modern advanced cities, the creation and the maintenance of sanitation is a conscious shared responsibility of all citizens, including school children, however, in our local cities it is either the selective preserve of the waste management worker or perceived state agencies for example the assemblies," he said.
Mr. Vanderpuije said, “in advanced cities, the management of waste is carried out in well planned systems like a scientifically engineered land fill site which creates by-products of fertilizer and other recyclable materials. Waste management is further used as a credible source of employment and revenue to both citizens and the state.
“Additionally, waste is used to generate energy for various usage.
“However, in our local cities, waste generated are disposed of indiscriminately with the attendant difficulties of environmental pollution, operational vector pools for communicable and non-communicable diseases as well as being a huge drain on the scarce resources of the assemblies and the state."
He cited the threat that poor sanitation and unscientifically managed waste pose to international tourism as another major problem.
The above distinctions that set apart advanced cities result from well-established cultural practices of routinely maintaining sanitation facilities, he explained.
He said the state of sanitation in Accra today is obviously was an improvement on previous years as a result of the assembly’s continuous determination to provide logistics, systems and programmes to improve it.
“In a short review, Mr. Chairman, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly could count its modest achievement in the general sanitation situation as a result of the following strategies.
“From the records, the city generates about 2,500 tonnes of solid waste daily. Out of this, 2,200 tonnes are collected leaving a backlog of 300 tonnes daily,” he said.
Mr. Vanderpuije said that to tackle that daunting challenge, the assembly introduced the Fee and Performance Based Solid Waste Collection System, otherwise known as the “polluter-pay principle” of waste management.
He said under this system, 10 solid waste contractors were engaged and assigned to each of the 10 sub-metros.
Those companies, he said, had registered 83,739 houses out of 117,175 houses in 2011 and in 2012, the companies increased the registration to 91,488.
“…the assembly, having registered the houses, distributed 88,166 (75.25 per cent) refuse storage bins to the households in 2011.
“In 2012 the distributed bins increased to 96,067 (81.9per cent) to households.
“For the year 2013, the assembly has earmarked to distribute 48,000 refuse bins to household. Cumulatively the assembly would have distributed 144,000 refuse bins by the end of 2013.
“The above figure includes 10,000 waste bins bought and supplied by the assembly,” he said.
To ensure that there is improved performance in sanitation, the assembly had instituted quarterly waste contractors’ performance review meetings to assess the contractors, Mr. Vanderpuije said.