Littering on the streets of Ghana could soon attract severe punishment including possible imprisonment.

Cabinet is currently considering a bill to make it a crime to make the streets and other public place messy by strewing garbage around.

The proposed bill will also make participation in the monthly National Sanitation Day clean up compulsory.

The document, put together by the Local Government and Rural Development Ministry, aims at protecting the environment and ensuring Ghanaians keep their environments clean.

Deputy Local Government and Rural Development minister, Emmanuel Agyekum, said he is optimistic cabinet will soon approve the proposal to enable Legislators to pass it into law.

Meanwhile, prominent legal practitioner, Samson Lardy Anyenini has dismissed the proposed law to make the monthly National Sanitation Day exercise mandatory.

According to Mr Anyenini, government's determination to make non-observance of the national clean up exercise a criminal offence amounts to nothing but a duplication of existing legal frameworks.

He argues that the move smacks of sheer laziness on the part of the Local Government Ministry since there exist laws both in the country's Criminal Code and the Public Health Act against throwing rubbish in the streets and open places, but which are rarely enforced.

The host of the weekly Newsfile news analysis programme aired on Joy FM and Joy News Channel on Multi TV said a few ago: "In our criminal law, it is an offence to throw rubbish in the street, etc and the law in section 296 says: 'Whoever does any of the following acts shall be liable to a fine not exceeding ¢200,000 namely — in any town places, or causes or permits to be placed, any carrion, filth, dirt, refuse, or rubbish, or any offensive or otherwise unwholesome matter, on any street, yard, enclosure, or open space, except at such places as may be set apart by the local authority or the health officer for that purpose…' Why don’t we enforce this, and just why did we create the Sanitation Courts?"

He has asked Parliamentarians to reject the bill when it reaches the House.