Residents of the Sahara community in Adabraka last Saturday came out in their numbers to participate in the monthly National Sanitation Day (NSD) exercise.
The exercise was led by Dr Zanetor Rawlings, the aspiring Member of Parliament for the Korle Klottey Constituency on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), with support from Zoomlion Ghana Limited and a pro-NDC group, I Choose JM.
Participants cleaned their homes, desilted choked drains, weeded and collected heaps of rubbish that had been lying unattended to for days.
The exercise was also to mark the June 3, 2015 twin disaster.
Being a low-lying area, the community was one that was worse hit by the floods.
A number of residents lost their properties worth thousands of cedis, while others lost their homes and businesses following a demolition exercise after the flood.
Some garage owners operating within the community suffered major damages after the area was submerged by the flood.
Subsequently, Dr Rawlings led other stakeholders to raise funds for the victims of the disaster.
Need to be supported
Dr Rawlings told the Daily Graphic that although residents in the community had been doing what they could to keep their environment clean, they still needed help to make it better.
“They are doing what they can and we are trying to support them due to the fact that they do not have the major logistics available to engage in a major clean-up exercise,” she said.
Additionally, she said the exercise was also intended to make the concious effort to sustain environmental cleanliness and the awareness of keeping the environment clean.
Asked why participants were clad in one political colour which had the tendency of discouraging others with different political interests from participating, Dr Rawlings said she was of the view that the input made by participants was rather important.
“Yes, I do agree that it should not be politicised but if a group comes and say they want to join in the clean-up exercise, for me, the outcome that I am looking for is that we all get together and work,” she said.
Keep environment clean
Dr Rawlings said a clean environment was important for the general health and wellbeing of the people and, therefore, it was important to keep the country clean at all times, especially during the rainy season.
She also urged city authorities and stakeholders involved in the sanitation sector to keep the awareness of clean environment ongoing.
“If people get used to what a clean environment should look and feel like, then one can keep that mindset and maintain that as opposed to not having a standard to aspire to, and If we can change the standard to a lighter level, then that is what we will work towards on a regular basis,” she said.
NSD not for social activities
The Communications Manager of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Mr Robert Tetteh Coleman, said the period of NSD was not meant for any social and sporting engagements but for a serious cleaning exercise.
He advised residents to desist from dumping waste indiscriminately into drains to ensure a flood-free city.
Mr Coleman reassured Ghanaians that the company was determined and committed to helping attain a sustainable environment, urging all to buy into the company’s vision of a cleaner country by abstaining from bad environmental habits such as open defecation and urination, as well as littering of the streets and highways.
He called on the public to actively participate in the exercise by coming out to clean their homes and their immediate environment.