The Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly has this year arraigned 11 landlords to various courts for flouting sanitation by-laws.
The highest out of the number of offences attracted three penalty points each and were charged GHC 800.00 and GHC 500.00 with offences ranging from failure to provide household toilets, creation of continuous stagnant waste water and inability to provide dustbins for the household.
Mr. Evans Bornaa, Municipal Environmental Health Officer (MEHO), made this known to the Ghana News Agency at the Bolgatanga lorry station after his outfit together with Zoomlion Ghana conducted a clean-up exercise in the new Bolgatanga market.
The exercise, according to Mr Kojo Upon Njabore, in charge of Regional Public Jobs, Zoomlion, said it was part of activities preceding the third phase of disinfection of the markets and public places to curb the COVID-19 pandemic initiated by the Ministry of Local Government Services and Rural Development (MLGSRD).
Mr Bornaa reiterated the commitment of the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly and his outfit in ensuring sanitation by-laws were pursued strictly to keep the townships clean.
The Environmental Health Officer said the emergence of COVID 19 also caused the slowdown of implementation of the by-laws and rate of prosecutions, and indicated that a house to house sensitization was ongoing to advise the public to desist from acts that would endanger the environment.
“Everyone owes it a responsibility to be an ambassador of sanitation”, Mr Bornaa stressed and added that in the Bolgatanga Municipality, it was part of its by-laws to charge anyone seen defecating outside or dumping refuse indiscriminately.
The 1992 constitution charges all citizens to owe it a responsibility to the wellbeing of the environment and to protect and safeguard it. The environmental and sanitation policy 2010 charges every Ghanaian to keep environment clean and safe and therefore everyone residing in any community need to help to enforce sanitation laws by avoiding creation of mosquito breeding places.
The Criminal offences Act 1960 act 29, section 296-7 clarifies that no one has any right to shit into a container or a plastic bag and throw it indiscriminately , or sweep refuse from a house and dump it anywhere and therefore such acts are criminal and therefore culprits will be dealt with in the law courts.
Meanwhile, the Local government Act 2016, act 936 enjoins various MMDAs to create local byelaws to take care of the environment and the Public health act 2012 section 56, prohibits indiscriminatory dumping of waste at various work places.