The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration as part of its activities to mark the 74th Anniversary of the United Nations (UN), has embarked on a clean-up exercise in and around Nima in Accra.
This was geared towards creating awareness on the need to maintain a clean and a healthy environment and to facilitate efforts at achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on climate and the environment.
The exercise, which was carried out in partnership with the security agencies such as the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Armed Forces, the Ghana National Fire Service and the Ghana Prisons Service as well as the UN office, saw participants desilt choked drains, sweep and collect waste in and around the Nima township.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Madam Akua Boateng, staff at the office of the Multilateral Relations Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, said the Ministry takes keen interest in sanitation and other environment-related issues as they are critical to our survival.
“We are more concerned because for the SDGs we have climate action, keeping our environments neat, preventing diseases, among others and because if we want to be healthy, if we want to achieve the SDGs for climate action, if we want to be able to be better humans in the society we need to have a cleaner environment.”
She called for collaborative efforts between implementers of the SDGs and the people at the local level to ensure the SDGs on sanitation and climate were achieved.
Madam Akua also urged citizens to make issues of sanitation and the environment a priority as they were essential to the sustenance of humanity.
“First of all I think the problem with the SDGs is that probably it has not been localised so much but the average Ghanaian needs to know and understand what the SDGs are and know that they are not really detached, they are for all of us,” she said.
“Let us start from our homes because it is a collective effort, the government cannot do it alone, the UN cannot do it alone and so every Ghanaian has to work towards achieving the SDGs,” she added.
Mrs Cynthia Prah, National Information Officer of the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Accra, said the exercise was in support of the UN Secretary General’s call for a clean environment to safeguard the oceans and a clean environment.
Chief Superintendent Fanny Aboagye, Deputy Director, International Relations, Police Headquarters in Accra, said the exercise was also aimed at sensitising the public on the need for cleanliness at all times.
She said even though the country has achieved a lot in this area, there was still the need for more efforts to be made if the country was to achieve the Goals.
Assistant Commissioner Abraham Acquaye, the Nima Divisional Police Commander, urged citizens to make cleanliness a habit to ensure a healthy life and environment.
The UN day is commemorated annually on October 25.
This year’s celebration for Ghana is under the theme: “A clean environment for a healthy living; our collective responsibility.”