The new Mayor of Accra has promised to vigorously pursue a better waste management strategy as a medium to long term measure in preventing floods in the capital.
Nii Adjei Sowah is considering recycling Accra’s waste in what he says is the modern approach to dealing with the huge volumes of waste produced.
He has a little under two months to attempt to solve the challenges that come with dealing with Accra’s waste before the rains set in.
Accra, like many parts of the country, has suffered a twin debacle of floods and diseases, particularly cholera with its attendant deaths and loss of properties anytime it rains.
In 2015, over 130 people lost their lives in the fire, flood disaster which struck on June 3 at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, precisely at the Goil Filling Station.
A year earlier, over 150 people died across the country, with some 17,000 cases of cholera reported in that year, the worst in 30 years.
With two months to go for the rains to set in and with a new Mayor nominated but yet to be approved by the Assembly, concerns have been raised as to whether he will be able to fight the canker of the poor waste management systems as a way of solving the flood situation in the country.
Speaking to Joy News Editor Dzifa Bampoh, the Mayor, Nii Adjei Sowah is convinced he will be able to fight the canker but admits the challenge is daunting and will need the participation and support of all.
“Some of the issues are quite technical and when i get into the driving seat, i am going to consult widely on how to deal with some of these issues.
“I am aware the Ministry of Local Government has instructed the AMA to de-silt Accra in the following weeks.
“In the immediate term that is what we should be doing but in the future we should be looking at how to deal with waste management holistically,” he said.
He said the administration will recycle waste for use.
“In any civilised city across the world waste is no more regarded as a waste. It is a by-product for something else,” he said.
He questioned the attitudes and behavior of the citizens which he said must change as the city begins to solve its challenges.
On street hawking, the new Mayor to be, described as “crude” tactics used by his predecessors to sack hawkers on the streets of Accra.
He said the era where guards with batons are seen chasing hawkers across the streets of Accra is long gone and promised a more civilized approach to solving the problem.
He said the AMA will engage with all the hawkers to find an amicable way of solving the problem.
Nii Adjei Sowah mentioned poor housing situation, lack of better planning of the cities and poor waste management as some of his biggest challenges he needs to address when he is approved by the Assembly.
He also lamented the absence of recreational sites in the City, something he contends must be available in a modern city.