Residents in the Kumasi metropolis responded positively to President John Evans Atta Mills' quest for clean environment by temporary suspending their commercial activities between 6a.m. and 12 noon last Saturday, to actively support the clean-up exercise intended to rid the Kumasi metropolis of filth.
The exercise which was organised by members of the Ashanti Regional Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA) in collaboration with the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly(KMA) and other organised groups in the metropolis, saw residents converging very early at the various streets, public places, car parks and market places to fully participate in the clean up exercise.
The exercise was also meant to promote environmental cleanliness in the metropolis as well as sensitise residents on the need to change their attitude towards the environment.
Indiscriminate littering of the environment with all forms of solid waste materials, promote the spread of diseases and the exercise also sought to educate residents on the need to do away with such habits.
Prior to the exercise, which was the first of its kind to be organised by the new government in Kumasi, Messrs J. Stanley Owusu, a Waste Management Company, provided a 24-hour service on Friday to work on the Dompoase Land fill site to create more space for refuse that would be dumped there on Saturday.
This was to reduce any form of congestion at the site by waste trucks that would transport garbage from the various suburbs to the landfill.
Waste Group, Anthoco Waste, Sakem, Zoomlion, Kumasi Waste Management, Measkworld, Osborn and ABC Waste also participated actively in the exercise.
The metropolis was divided into zones with each of the waste management companies and their members, concentrating on a particular zone assigned to it, thereby enhancing efficiency.
From Asuoyeboah through Kwadaso to Bantama and the central business district of Adum and Kajetia, as well as the Central Market, safe market and other suburbs, residents, most of whom were traders and voluntary groups, desilted choked gutters, swept the streets, and set fire to heaps of dried leaves and materials collected.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic later, a trader at the Morocco shoe house, Mr Osei Kwabena, commended the organisers of the exercise for their prompt intervention and urged them to regularise it.
This, he said, would keep Kumasi clean as the rains set in.
He pointed out that communicable diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery and typhoid fever among others, that thrive on filth, had always been on the spread, especially during the rainy season.
He pointed out that on such occasions, people spent a lot of money and time to treat diseases, and this undermined productivity and revenue generation.
Mr Osei Kwabena said it was equally important for the authorities to initiate educational programmes that would create awareness for the pubic to change their negative attitude of dumping liquid and solid waste into drains, public places and recreational grounds,
Earlier, the Ashanti Regional Chairman of ESPA, Nana Adu Asabre had told newsmen that as the umbrella body of solid and liquid waste management, the ESPA would be committed to the provision of clean environment to promote good health among residents.
“Ours is a call to duty, that is why representatives of the national executive came down to participate in the planning of this exercise after a similar exercise at Sekondi- Takoradi", he assured.
Stressing, Nana Asabre said, " This is just the beginning of a permanent collaboration to sustain the state of cleanliness in the city".