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Ga Mantse calls for collective action in Homowo clean-up campaign

The Ga Mantse, His Royal Majesty, King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II, has called for a unified effort to make Accra cleaner, urging all residents, businesses, and institutions to participate actively in the Homowo Clean-Up Campaign.


Speaking at the campaign's launch, King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II stressed the importance of closing all shops and businesses in the designated cleanup areas on the day of the exercise.


He emphasized the necessity for leaders of various groups and associations to fully engage in the cleanup efforts.


"The involvement of all residents, particularly in the capital, will enhance environmental cleanliness and reduce the prevalence of waste-related diseases," he stated.


King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II highlighted the need for collective action to foster discipline, community ownership, and responsibility for the ecosystem.

He called for strict adherence to sanitation bylaws, with violators facing the full extent of the law.


"We must act collectively to address environmental degradation and promote sustainable waste management practices," he urged.


The Ga Mantse endorsed the introduction of sanitation competitions, with awards given to the cleanest areas in the capital.


These competitions will include schools, markets, residential areas, offices, workshops, and lorry stations.


"I hope the attractive awards will incentivize all city dwellers to participate fully," he said.


King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II appealed to corporate bodies to adopt green policies and beautify the capital.


He also urged the Advertising Association of Ghana to work with local authorities to declutter billboards and remove unauthorized advertising materials from road medians to enhance the city's aesthetics.


He reiterated the importance of the bylaws on cleaning and greening frontages, which require households and businesses to clean their premises, maintain the cleanliness of grass and drains, beautify their frontages, and ensure proper waste disposal.


"Assemblies must collaborate with waste management service providers to place refuse bins at strategic points to discourage littering," he noted.


King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II called for intensified public education and the reintroduction of communal labor activities to reinforce environmental sanitation efforts.


"The assemblies must strengthen their efforts in enforcing sanitation bylaws, which is our collective responsibility," he stated.


King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II emphasized the collaborative nature of the Greater Accra Regional Homowo Clean-Up Initiative.


"This represents a joint effort towards achieving a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable environment for all residents. I urge everyone to join this necessary campaign to make Accra clean again," he declared.


Taking his turn, Greater Accra Regional Minister, Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover underscored the importance of collective action in maintaining cleanliness across the region.


Mr. Titus-Glover highlighted the shared responsibility of ensuring a cleaner environment and called for active participation from all sectors of society.


Reflecting on past efforts, Titus-Glover paid tribute to his predecessor, Honourable Henry Quartey, for significant strides made under the "Agenda: Let's Make Accra Work Again" initiative and the "Clean Your Frontage" campaign.

He committed to building upon this foundation, emphasizing that waste management and sanitation are critical pillars in mitigating flooding and ensuring a safer environment for all residents.


"Today, as we embark on this Homowo Cleanup Campaign, I am reminded of the responsibility we bear to fulfill this promise," Titus-Glover stated. "Under the stewardship of my predecessor, Honourable Henry Quartey, significant strides were made towards achieving a cleaner, greater Accra. We are committed to sustaining and expanding these efforts."


He acknowledged the invaluable support of traditional leaders, particularly the Grand Traditional Council headed by Nii Ayi Bonte II, whose endorsement and active involvement have been instrumental in revitalizing the campaign.


"Their commitment to lead by example during the Homowo festivities underlines their dedication to environmental stewardship," he said.


The Homowo Clean-Up Campaign officially commenced across all local government jurisdictions in the Greater Accra Region.


The initiative will be rolled out in phases to ensure comprehensive coverage and effective implementation.


"We are resourceful in forging partnerships and engaging stakeholders from various sectors to ensure the success and sustainability of this initiative," Titus-Glover noted.


Expressing gratitude, Titus-Glover thanked Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong, the group chair of the Jospong Group of Companies, for his substantial contributions to the campaign.


"From compaction trucks to cleaning equipment, we are well prepared and focused to support the efforts of our communities and traditional authorities," he stated.


The logistical support for the campaign includes the mobilization of approximately 30 compaction trucks, over 30 motorized cycles, and a variety of cleaning equipment such as boots, trash bags, PPEs, shovels, spades, and long brooms.


Additionally, about 1,500 security personnel and a dedicated task force comprising traditional leaders, Environmental Health Officers, and other community members will be deployed to enforce sanitation regulations and uphold cleaning standards.


Mr. Titus-Glover emphasized that the success of the campaign hinges not only on logistical support but also on the active participation of every citizen.


"Cleanliness is a shared responsibility that demands collective action," he declared.


"I ask each and every one of you—residents, community leaders, businesses, and institutions, both public and private—to join hands in this noble cause and build a resilient and enviable urban region. Your contribution, no matter how small, will make a significant difference in preserving our environment."


He also called on media partners to amplify the message of the Homowo Clean-Up Exercise, highlighting their role in raising awareness about cleanliness and environmental consciousness.


On her part, Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Lydia Seyram Alhassan, has reaffirmed the Akufo-Addo administration's commitment to making Accra the cleanest city in Africa.


Madam Alhassan announced the distribution of 400 cleaning tools and personal protective equipment (PPEs) to Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) throughout the Greater Accra Region.


This initiative aims to empower local authorities with the necessary resources to effectively manage waste and maintain cleanliness within their areas.


In her speech, Madam Alhassan emphasized the establishment of sanitation committees designed to oversee sanitation activities, encourage community involvement, and promote sustainable practices across various municipalities.


"These committees are crucial in mobilizing local resources and driving grassroots participation in our cleanup efforts," she noted.


"Their role is essential in not only addressing immediate sanitation challenges but also in fostering a culture of regular and proactive waste management among citizens."


The Minister who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon also stressed the importance of involving traditional rulers in the sanitation efforts.


"It has become imperative to politically involve our traditional rulers, who are the custodians of the land, to lend their support to this broader call," she said.

"Their involvement symbolizes the unity and collective action required to achieve our sanitation goals."


The Minister reminded the public that cleanliness is not a one-time event but a continuous process that demands dedication and participation from everyone.


"As we engage in this exercise, let us remember that cleanliness requires the dedication and involvement of every individual," Madam Alhassan stated.


She assured that the government remains unwavering in its vision of transforming Accra into the cleanest city in Africa.


"The Ministry will continue to collaborate with various traditional authorities and MMDAs to ensure a cleaner, healthier, and more beautiful Accra," she affirmed.


Expressing gratitude, Alhassan thanked all partners, stakeholders, and community members who have supported and participated in the initiative.


"Your efforts are invaluable, and your commitment is deeply appreciated," she said.


Mayor of Accra, Elizabeth Kwaatso Sackey highlighted the urgent need for effective waste management strategies as the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) continues to generate significant amounts of municipal waste.


Madam Sackey revealed that GAMA produces approximately 4,000 metric tons of municipal waste daily, a figure recorded during the 2021 Population and Housing Census conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS).


The Mayor warned that this number is likely to increase due to the rising population and expanding social and economic activities in the region.


She stressed the necessity for pragmatic measures to realize President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa.


"The need for a clean environment in all parts of the region cannot be overemphasized. It provides a healthy living environment for everyone and protects natural resources such as surface water, groundwater, and soil for agricultural and horticultural purposes," Madam Sackey stated.


She added that a clean environment also promotes safety, security, tourism, and other economic potentials of the region and the country as a whole.

The Mayor praised the Greater Accra Region's new Regional Minister, Daniel Nii Kwatei Titus-Glover, for continuing the sanitation initiatives of his predecessor, Hon. Henry Quartey.


Highlighting the significance of the Homowo Clean-Up Campaign, Sackey noted that the exercise, scheduled from Tuesday, July 2, to Tuesday, August 20, 2024, aims to rekindle individual and collective commitment to proper sanitation in communities.


She emphasized that the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) are committed to sustaining the exercise even after the Homowo Festival.


"The presence of His Royal Majesty, King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II, and other concerned Ministers of State at this function signifies the importance we must all attach to the issue of sanitation, MadamSackey noted.


Mayor Sackey called for the maximum cooperation of all stakeholders in the region, particularly:


"Waste service providers to work closely with the Assemblies to ensure the timely collection and evacuation of waste. Support from traditional authorities and other stakeholders to help change people's behavior and attitudes towards the haphazard disposal of waste in unauthorized areas such as drains, streets, and pavements.


Vincent Ekow Assafuah, Deputy Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation, and Rural Development, emphasized the importance of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa.


"The Homowo Clean-Up Exercise we are launching today forms part of the activities leading to the Homowo Festival. This initiative, supported by the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation, and Rural Development (MLGDRD), aims to make Accra clean and tidy in preparation for the celebration," Mr. Assafuah stated.


"As the saying goes, ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness,’ and it is in this vein that we are calling on all Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to join hands in our quest to make this exercise successful."


Mr. Assafuah reaffirmed the Ministry's commitment to providing resources to all MMDAs to keep cities clean and attractive, complementing the government's ongoing efforts.


He praised the "Clean Your Frontage" campaign, led by the current Minister of the Interior and former Greater Accra Regional Minister, as a significant step towards achieving this goal.


"The Ministry wishes to identify with this laudable initiative and commit to fully supporting the Homowo Clean-Up Exercise," he said.


The Deputy Minister also commended the leadership of His Majesty, King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II, for his dedication to maintaining a clean and healthy Accra during the festival.


"On behalf of the Minister and the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation, and Rural Development, and our MMDAs, we assure you of our utmost support in this endeavor," Assafuah affirmed.

Highlighting the cultural significance of the Homowo Festival, Assafuah noted that the festival symbolizes resilience and the spirit of community.


"By participating in the Homowo Clean-Up Exercise, we honor this heritage and work towards a cleaner, healthier environment for all," he remarked.


Mr. Assafuah stressed that cleanliness and sanitation are integral to national development, contributing to public health, tourism, and overall quality of life.


He assured that the Ministry is dedicated to sustaining and expanding these initiatives.


"We encourage all citizens, traditional leaders, and community groups to actively participate in the Homowo Clean-Up Exercise. Your involvement is crucial to its success and to the betterment of our communities," he urged.


Beyond the Homowo Festival, Mr. Assafuah called for the adoption of sustainable practices in daily life, including proper waste management, recycling, and community cleanliness.


He assured that the Ministry would continue to support these efforts with necessary resources and policies.


"May the spirit of Homowo guide and manifest in all our endeavors! Afi oooo Afi. Thank you for your collective efforts, and may our commitment lead to a prosperous Ghana. God bless us all," Mr. Assafuah concluded.


The Homowo Clean-Up Exercise, running from July 2 to August 20, 2024, aims to mobilize community involvement and ensure a cleaner Accra, in line with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo's vision of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa.


Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith

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