Source: Daily Graphic Ghana - Workers of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) last Saturday undertook a four-hour clean-up exercise at Adabraka in Accra.
The exercise organised in collaboration with Zoomlion Ghana Limited, a leading waste management company in Accra, was to assist the residents to clean up their community after the flood and fire disasters of June 3. Areas such as Sahara, Odorna Clinic, Old Timers Spot, and the local mosque in the Adabraka community were completely submerged by the floods.
The floods also left behind debris in gutters, or along the streets and in front of homes. Other institutions that provided support for the exercise were Papaye Fast Foods, Accra Brewery Limited, Tobinco Pharmaceuticals, and the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS).
As early as 6a.m., workers of GCGL and Zoomlion began the exercise. While the women swept the streets and gathered rubbish that was sent to the final disposal point, the men descended into the gutters to clear them of silt.
In spite of cleaning the drain, water could not flow easily as expected because a restaurant was sitting on part of the drain, while other parts were covered with concrete slabs.
Some of the residents were also apathetic to the exercise although they were informed. Some stood aloof with folded arms observing workers of the two companies clean the environment while others, instead of participating, were giving directions as to the areas that needed to be cleaned.
Worst of all, some residents, on realising it was a clean-up, brought out their rubbish and dumped it on the street for workers of GCGL to clear.
Obviously not happy with the attitude of the residents, the Managing Director of GCGL, Mr Kenneth Ashigbey, said the issue about sanitation was not just about leadership but also about “ourselves because you look into the drains and the things you see could kill your heart.”
He said it was sad that some community members refused to join in the exercise which was intended to benefit them.
Mr Ashigbey called on the public to change their attitude towards communal work, as well as the environment, adding: “If cleanliness is next to Godliness then most of us are far from God because we are just not paying attention to our environment.”
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the Communications Manager of Zoomlion Limited, Mr Robert Coleman, lauded the initiative of GCGL to support the residents of Adabraka by cleaning their environment.
He said Zoomlion, for its part, had deployed some of its logistics such as refuse trucks, compaction trucks, wheel loaders, wheelbarrows, head pans, brooms, gloves, nose masks, tricycles, among other equipment, to facilitate the exercise.
“Not only are we helping them to clean, but we are also giving out free water to the people around, and this would be delivered every day because we are aware that their taps are not flowing,” he said.
The Adabraka Atukpai Queenmother, Naa Korkor Ajeoyi, described as shameful the refusal of some residents to participate in the exercise.
“It is shameful to see the Managing Director of GCGL descend into the drains to collect sand and faecal matter while residents look on. I am pleading with those who engage in dropping faeces in the drains to stop and rather construct toilet facilities in their homes,” she said.
Additionally, she said if residents changed their attitude towards sanitation, the perennial floods would not be experienced and lauded the two companies for their support to the community.
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