So soon, we are about to close the month of February, traditionally celebrated as the month of love, love for Christ, for families, for friend, for relations and for the country.
In all of it, how love did one exhibit towards one’s country Ghana, especially in our own efforts to present a clean nation and a clean capital starting from the frontage of our homes?
As one walks or drives through communities and around the city, my quick verdict is that there has not been much commitment shown towards the cleanliness of our environment. The fierce harmattan dust has even increased the dirt we see around.
What has stood out above the dirt this month, however, is painting the environment red over the filth and untidiness.
However, as we dismantle the red decorations that characterised the air in February, one should begin to factor in the onset of the rainy season quite soon. It is that period that unveils the hidden filth buried in uncovered drains and makes the environment look even dirtier.
The good news is that earlier in the month of love, the Greater Accra Regional Minister got busy once again with his much-loved pet project – “operation clean your frontage”.
If anyone could make a personal commitment to a clean city, it should be the commitment to ensure one’s frontage is clean and kept tidy, whether it is residential or commercial. Charity, they say, begins at home.
Media reports earlier in the month indicated that the hard working Regional Minister commissioned thousands of young people made up of officials from various local Assemblies and security officials to begin to enforce bye-laws on sanitation and maintain discipline in the region.
The Regional Minister has been consistent with his commitment to making a change in the region in general and Accra in particular. He has been advocating this change of a clean environment and city with a single-minded passion since his assumption of office last year.
He has finally selected the month of love to give the project a practical outline and progress his agenda.
One can only wish him well because it is a tough nut to crack when habits are so ingrained and suddenly, one decides to dismantle them. That is the challenge one foresees in wiping out the detestable habit of littering indiscriminately in this our dearly beloved society.
Our environment, including the frontage of homes, public access roads and drains, are choked with dirt and overgrown weeds. The frontage of some homes sometimes make them look abandoned but yes, people live happily inside those homes just that they do not care and have not heard.
The thousands of young men and women who have been employed by the Assemblies will have a difficult task to perform. Nonetheless, where there is a will, there is a way.
They should brace themselves up and know that unlike many of their colleagues on the streets, they are lucky to have a job.
They should come to the table with passion and energy to execute the mandate of their employers and help the Assemblies achieve their goal, irrespective.
On the other hand, the Assemblies should also bear in mind that to succeed, these young recruits need adequate tools and good remuneration to perform. These should energise them to give off their best.
As has been said repeatedly, scapegoats being made of offenders is the best way to progress. Those who consistently flout the Assemblies’ bye-laws on sanitation must not be shelved but brought to book.
The “Keep your frontage clean” agenda is a laudable one. Let us see it sustained with defaulters prosecuted and made to face stiffer penalties that will deter them or their neighbours.
Since it is bad old habits that the Regional Minister and his team are bent on breaking, constant reminders in the media should be employed at all costs, using animations and celebrities to drum home the needed messages.
The Assemblies may want to work together with the Information Services Department. Their mobile vans should be employed to drum home well-crafted messages in communities.
They should use early Saturday mornings when a lot of households are at home to propagate the message of “Operation keep your frontage clean”.
The mobile van messages should drum home the bye-laws that are being flouted, the health and legal implications and emphasise the penalties that go with defaulting.
The constant Saturday early morning reminders brought home to communities will ginger residents to do the right things.
Operation “Keep your frontage clean” may be a hard nut to crack but with the appropriate nut-crackers applied, success should be achieved.
One wishes the Regional Minister well, hoping that his pet project will flourish and bring a positive change to our communities and capital in particular.
The writer can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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