Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi
ONE area that needs to be watched critically in order to make Kumasi one of the reputable host cities of the Africa Cup of Nations is sanitation.
However, many are those who express worry about the preparations so far made by the authorities concerned as regards sanitation prior to the tournament.
But through waste management giants, Zoomlion Ghana Limited (ZL), some window of hope has come to fans of the game and all others who believe in proper sanitation practices as a major prerequisite for enhancing community development.
Over the past year, ZL has been in the forefront of beautifying the metropolis with sanitation as its main focus. When it became clear that the Waste Management Department of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) did not have the machinery and manpower to tackle the challenges, ZL came in to fill the vacuum.
On Saturday, the company undertook its biggest ever pre-Africa Cup of Nations clean-up exercise in Kumasi to help position the city environmentally for the biggest continental sporting event.
The exercise, which was undertaken in conjunction with the KMA, was part of a GH¢23,000 regional programme which the company had embarked upon in all the districts of the Ashanti Region in the build-up to the tournament. The district events would also be undertaken in conjunction with the various district assemblies.
Saturday’s event in Kumasi saw the clean-up, decoration of streets, removal of piled-up refuse from many of the suburbs and the sweeping of various corners of the metropolis.
A number of residents joined in the exercise to help make the environment clean and to project the image of the city as a hygienic community.
In an interview after the exercise, the Operations Executive of the company in charge of the Ashanti Region, Ms Sharon Quarshie, said ZL had been in the forefront of activities to beautify the city, not only in preparation for the African Cup of Nations, but for the future growth of the metropolis.
She said Kumasi occupied an important position in Ghana as the second biggest city, and an important centre of the rich Ghanaian culture and tradition, as such it needed to be kept clean to maintain its image.
Ms Quarshie stressed that the thousands of visitors who would be coming to the city for the football fiesta would have to carry a good image of the city with them back to their various countries, and one surest way to ensure that this was achieved was through a clean environment.
The operations executive advised the people against indiscriminate littering, saying such activities were a disincentive to development.
She expressed concern that some people still erroneously believed they could dump their rubbish anyhow, because it was the duty of the assembly to collect it.
Ms Quarshie said the indiscriminate dumping of garbage could result in the outbreak of diseases, with disastrous consequences for the people.
She gave the assurance that ZL would never relent in its efforts at ensuring that sanitation was improved in all the districts of the region.
She, therefore, appealed to the people in the districts to co-operate with the company in the exercise when it started.
Ms Quarshie commended the KMA for the support it continued to give the company to enable it deliver quality service to the people.
She reminded the people about painting of buildings which was due to start in Kumasi this week, adding that it would be undertaken at a reduced cost to the people so that as many households as possible would take advantage of it to bring life to their houses.
She again appealed to companies to support the company’s exercise to paint the major streets in the metropolis by donating paints and other necessary items as well as cash to make the exercise a success.