Filth in Accra

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"Sanitation has become a topical issue that we can hardly ignore. Our cities and municipalities in particular have become engulfed in filth as evidenced by the increasing heaps of rubbish that we encounter by our roads and residential areas" –President J.A. Kufour

FILTH IN ACCRA
Is Accra really deserving of the title Capital City?
For a city that is playing host to millions of tourists next year for Ghana's golden jubilee celebrations as well as the CAN 2008 football tournament the next year, Accra has definitely not got its act right. The main authority in charge of the city's sanitation and maintenance, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) still has a lot to learn about managing an ever-expanding city of over 3 million inhabitants.

Firstly, the unplanned nature of some areas of the city makes it difficult for the authorities concerned to formulate a meaningful waste disposal plan. This is partly due to the history of settlement in Accra. In general terms, Accra's rapid growth has occurred without the benefit of consistent and coordinated planning. During the colonial era, physical-planning activities occurred only in areas where the colonial administrators and expatriate personnel lived . Beyond the high-class residential areas, the city developed in a disorderly manner creating a fragmented urban structure . An example of such a poorly planned area is Awoshie, a suburb of Accra. It is almost an impossible mission for garbage trucks to meander through the narrow, unnamed streets of such a suburb to pick up refuse. The AMA is also losing substantial revenue because most houses have no numbers and cannot be identified to be served with demand notices for the collection of property tax. The provision of street names and numbering of houses will thus help in the collection of revenue through the property tax system. This will finance the effective, regular disposal of waste and the surplus used for other development projects in the area. Rapid...
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