Parliament House in Accra has been caught up in the web of indiscriminate waste disposal in the country with refuse dumps springing up in the walled compound of the important national institution.

The Mirror says when it visited the House on Wednesday, masses of refuse could be spotted along the wall that separates the State House and Parliament House from the Osu Cemetery, towards the eastern end of the compound.

A receptacle had been placed in the yard and though it was half full, it was circled by heaps of rubbish.

The Public Relations Officer of Parliament, Mr Jones Kugblenu, told The Mirror he believed the use of the State Banquet Hall, which shares a compound with Parliament House, for private and public functions might have contributed to the littering of the area.

He said the building that housed Parliament is part of the State House, which hosts all manner of activities and persons, some of whom littered the compound indiscriminately.

He said the State Protocol had the keys to the compound and alleged that some of the security men allowed people in to fetch water and do all kinds of things in the compound.

“There is a water booster station at Parliament House, so whenever water supply to the neighbourhood is interrupted, the people from Osu and surrounding areas come in to fetch water and such people may also litter the place,” he explained.

“We share the compound with the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture, the Council of State and other bodies and it is difficult to control the people who come in here,” he pointed out.

“As at now, he said, there are no plans to move Parliament from its present location, in spite of the intrusions. The Speaker had therefore formed a committee to oversee security at the place,” he said.

“Indeed, security in the Chamber of Parliament has already been beefed up,” Mr Kugblenu gave the assurance.

He said Parliament had contracted a cleaning company to take charge of sanitation inside the Parliament House while the State Protocol was supposed to take care of the compound.

But an official at the Household Department of the State Protocol rejected Mr Kugblenu’s claims and insisted that Parliament was responsible for sanitation in its immediate surroundings.

“So please, go back and ask them why the heaps of rubbish are springing up there,” the officer suggested.

A Member of Parliament who pleaded for anonymity called for a serious look at sanitation in the country as a whole.

The MP pointed out that the situation at the official residences of the MPs at Sakumono, near the industrial city of Tema, was not different from the conditions at the Parliament House.

The law maker said “dustbins at our Sakumono estates are always overflowing with rubbish because the waste management companies do not pick up the rubbish regularly. The whole area is also littered with plastic waste and the drains are choked, exposing us to mosquitoes”.

“The situation is really terrible and it is also an indictment on all of us as Parliamentarians. A lot can be done to improve the situation in the compound of the Parliament House, as well as at our Sakumono estates. Visitors to these places get their first impression in the compounds and those are where we have rubbish all over,” he said.

Source: The Mirror

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