The newly sworn in Assembly and Unit Committee members have been asked to use by-laws to enforce compliance in sanitation management and environmental health standards to ensure a clean and healthy environment.
Making reference to Section 12(3)(f) of the Local Government Act, 2016 (Act 936), Ambassador Dr Mokowa Blay Adu-Gyamfi, a Presidential Advisor on HIV/AIDS, who read a speech on behalf of the President, urged them to formulate by-laws to address issues of waste management, licensing and monitoring environmental service providers.
This will also help in solid waste collection and management and any other matters that demand local regulations to achieve and maintain a clean environment.
Dr Adu-Gyamfi said this on Thursday during the inauguration of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).
She said it was necessary to explore avenues to create employment for the youth by taking advantage of the agricultural sector to provide surplus food and agricultural raw materials for industry and export.
The decentralisation programme, she said, had devolved functions and powers of Central Government to the district assemblies, hence, the need for unity, diligence, accountability and responsiveness by the members to ensure effective delivery of their mandate.
“Let me also emphasise that good governance entails active participation of the citizens in your Assembly to ensure the delivery of quality services, improved infrastructure and good leadership,” she said.
“I wish all of you well, and remind you that your people require of you the traits of selflessness, devotion to duty, a very accountable stewardship, and, above all, the ability to deliver efficient services to improve on their quality of life and promote prosperity. I wish you a successful tenure in office.”
One major challenge was the unplanned and haphazard development currently going on in most assemblies, Dr Adu-Gyamfi said.
Slums being developed in marshy areas, and houses built on waterways, had become a phenomenon with serious implications to national development and public safety.
“As you are sworn in today, work with your Assemblies to ensure compliance with the building rules and regulations on the zoning and development of lands, and ensure that lands are developed according to approved plans and designated land use, to avoid flooding and accompanying loss of lives and property,” she advised.
She also entreated them to streamline and reduce the period for granting building permits to potential developers, as it was critical to managing development control and reducing cost of doing business.
Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, the Chief Executive Officer of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, cautioned the newly sworn in Assembly members not to discharge their duties with any partisan consideration.
“It is as if with what is trickling into the Assembly, some of us want to change this place to second Parliament. Indulging in partisan politics is not our mandate and the Local Government Act says it all,” he said.
He advised them not to shrink the confidence and trust people have in them by working hard to make their lives better.
Nii Akwei Bonso III, the Stool Secretary of the Ngleshie Alata (Jamestown) Traditional Area, who spoke on behalf of the Traditional Authorities, urged the Assembly members to liaise with the traditional authorities to implement every developmental plan.
“The Chief Executives of the AMA will keep changing, but we the ‘Nii Mei and Naa Mei’ will continue to exist, so you must give us that honour if you want to excel while delivering your mandate,” he said.
The Assembly members sworn into office include Frederick Asante Tawiah of Kaneshie, Alfred Asiedu Agyei of Avenor, Theophilus Quaye of Chorkor, Nathaniel Osei of New Mamprobi, and Peter Ayi Quaye of Korle-Klottey electoral areas.