The Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, Charles Palmer-Buckle, has attributed the insanitary conditions in the city to the sense of indiscipline, calling on city authorities to enforce sanitation laws and put in place proactive measures to address the menace.
According to him, it behooves on city authorities to enforce sanitation laws, educate citizens and provide the needed support to prevent littering, and the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in open spaces to ensure a cleaner city.
The Archbishop said this when the Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, called on him to discuss strategies by the Assembly to deal with the city’s sanitation challenges and sign the Clean Accra Charter.
The Clean Accra Charter is a set of guiding ethos to advance the vision of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa.
The charter “recognises that residents neighbours, workers, institutions and visitors to the city have a fundamental obligation to put forward their best efforts on daily basis to ensure a clean, healthy and safe environment in Accra, now and in the future.”
It also commits citizens to be “watchdogs against insanitary and disorderly development activities in Accra, and report these to the notice of city authorities for immediate action” as well as ” waste prevention, reduction, reuse, recycling , organised disposal of refuse and proper use of public spaces.”
Charles Palmer-Buckle urged citizens to be conscious of the negative impacts of droping a plastic on the environment, and admonished all to desist from the practice.
” Scientifically, when you drop a plastic it takes a 100 years to decompose and so if we have over 2 million people littering the streets of Accra then you can understand the seriousness of the problem, ” he said, adding that laws must be enforced.
The Archbishop stressed the need for synergy in order to work for the greater good of the people and pledge to support the AMA to ensure a clean Accra.
“My Pope came out with a document some few years ago titled ‘Care for our Common Home’… He talked about sanitation, climate change and a whole lot of challenges. So we have it as a responsibility and duty to conscientise our people to care for our common home. We have as many as 22 Catholic churches and over 4000 members in Greater Accra. I owe it a responsibility to the AMA to be ready and willing to collaborate and contribute on any project that involves the people,” he said.
“I will quickly inform all my priests in Accra to talk about sanitation issues during their sermons as part of efforts to complement the assembly’s public education measures because it is our responsibility,” he added.
Mohammed Adjei Sowah thanked the Archbishop for his commitment towards the Clean Accra Project, and observed that the signing of the charter reaffirms the Catholic church’s commitment to a Clean environment.
“Religious leaders are a major influence in society and we want to plead with you, to add sanitation issues as part of your delivering either in sermons or wherever you find yourselves,” he appealed.
Mohammed Adjei Sowah also informed the Archbishop of measures to beautify the city of Accra, in the coming days.