Agnes Oteng: Rejuvenating the work of the town councils


Rocketing the disability of the country into an everlasting change to affect lives in the future is what development and modernization speaks and stands for.

One great step to be taken by a country towards the achievement of greater height, is tackling the problem of the inadequacy of waste disposal as well as waste recycling.

It is crucial and non-negotiable to develop Ghana as most Ghanaians would want it to be, as a result of the fact that, all our leaders are people who have travelled far and near to other western countries in search of greener pastures, where such countries operate under conducive and hygienic environments.

This can only be achieved when citizens of our country come to realize the need and the necessity to discipline themselves and to assume moral responsibility of ensuring that the reckless acts and behaviour of waste disposal in the country are nipped in the bud.

Government in its quest to fight for the reversal of the dirty nature of our towns and cities and indeed the entire country, has deployed the services of some waste management companies to work at various markets like the Mallam, Lapaz, Achimota and Dome markets, etc. as well as some streets across the country by sweeping and collecting wastes from these places and dumping these collected wastes at the appropriate dumping sites.

This initiative, carried out, seem to be hitting the snag as a visit to these cleaned places early in the morning reveals indiscriminate dumping of plastic and other wastes including food surpluses like ball float, lining up the streets the same morning moments after they had been cleaned and swept of stinking wastes.

This clearly tells how far we want to go as a country and our willingness to support the dreams of the leaders we elect to take us to the promised-land, where neatness and cleanliness is the order of the day.

During the 20th century where literacy wasn’t at its peak under autocratic leadership of military rulers, such acts of un-patriotism wasn’t recorded in our day to day activities and in our history.

But what is today’s well nurtured and cultured generation telling the old folks of yesterday in terms of wastes disposal, cleanliness and the neatness of our surroundings?.

Due to the manner in which we carry out our political activities in the country and given the manner in which people threaten to show our political leaders where power lies during elections, our political leaders are afraid to reintroduce certain core and critical institutions to work as they used to do in the interest of mother Ghana.

“If certain laws are made stiff and tightened today, I may lose my votes tomorrow, so let me be on an encapsulating side of the hearts of the people,” this is what most politicians say when they assume the reigns of government for fear of being voted out of power.

During the late President Jerry John Rawlings’ regime, where town councils were in operation, our markets were very clean and neat while all market stakeholders observed decorous waste disposal practices, to the extent that, the popular mantra at the time for our market stakeholders was “observe cleanliness before you have yourself to blame.”

Serving as a check on the people as to establishing infrastructures at the right places, ensuring proper street lightening, hygienic community, allotments as well as generating money through tax collection, helped the local government and the entire country to be developed as per Article 255 of the 1992 Constitution of our land.

Gone were the days when people heard that, the “Tankas” (as the town councils were called by the local folks) were in town and you see people running helter-skelter to prevent themselves from coming into contact with these “Tankas” people for fear of allowing them into their premises only to be queried or sent to the police station or to the court if found guilty of living and working in dirty environments.

During the period where the country is governed by democracy, human decorum seems missing.

In our democratic world today, some individuals on our streets make the street dirty and unclean as they have made the streets their places of abode where they eat, wash and do all manner of things there, leaving all manner of wastes on the streets, a development that encourage the breeding of social vices amongst the young ones.

Positioning waste bins at vantage points would help control these individuals on the streets and create and assure us all of a good environment.

It’s about time we citizens portrayed to one another and to our leaders that we are responsible and patriotic and assuring them in the process that we want our country to move from being Under-developed to being a Developed country.

Reigniting and reinvigorating the work of the town councils is a promising step towards making Ghana as a whole the cleanest country in the world and not the capital city alone.

About Author:

Agnes Oteng is a passion driven and well concerned final year student of Gh Media Schools who has the development of her country at heart.

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