CLEANLINESS they say, is next to Godliness and a healthy mind is said to be in a healthy body.
THESE dictums reiterate the urgent need for healthy and clean surroundings for any successful human endeavour.
ENSURING that citizens are healthy has been the concern of all governments that have spent a major portion of their budgets on establishing efficient healthcare services.
EVEN the MDGs such as reducing poverty and providing access to education are health-related since a well-educated person will likely take care of his or her health needs and those who are within the poverty line are unlikely to be able to afford basic health care.
OUR people are very particular about the environment and not too long ago, it was prohibited to litter one’s environs as sanitary inspectors, otherwise known as ‘Tankasi’, moved from house to house to enforce environmental hygiene.
DURING that era, morning parades in schools included inspections, such as the inspection of pupils’ uniforms, hair, fingernails and teeth. Those exercises were meant to ensure the turnout of all-round scholars who were disciplined enough to control themselves and their environment. It was a requirement then to sweep the streets of our communities regularly and burn the refuse to prevent epidemics such as cholera.
GROWING population and urbanisation have made it extremely difficult for us to keep to those traditional norms and values. But we are not an island onto ourselves since in other jurisdictions, especially the so-called advanced societies, they have managed to keep their
IN such societies, anybody who drops garbage on the streets is held with scorn and treated so contemptuously that that person feels exposed and out of place in society. Perhaps our general penchant for indiscipline is responsible for our present predicament of filthy surroundings, particularly in Accra and other cities in the country.
ATTEMPTS to improve the poor sanitary situation in the country will not be successful if people do not change their attitude to the environment. We have littered the environment, including our markets, streets and communities with all kinds of garbage, exposing our lives to all kinds of risks.
TODAY calls for behaviourial change from people from all walks of life in order to deal with the garbage menace that threatens our very existence on mother earth.