The city of Accra breathed an alluring fresh and clean air as “Operation Clean your Frontage” initiative commenced Tuesday.
The fog of freshness that wove the air was seemingly calm as individuals and traders were spotted making deliberate efforts to tidy their frontages and surroundings in promoting environmental cleanliness.
The exercise marked the commencement of the implementation and enforcement of the “Operation Clean Your Frontage” by-laws to ensure that households, businesses, and individuals cleaned their frontages, surroundings, and immediate environments.
National Service Personnel and Security officials from the Ghana Police Service, Ghana National Fire Service and Ghana Immigration Service, drawn from across the Region, early Tuesday morning converged at the Independence Square and deployed in buses to the various districts for the clean-up exercise.
The Government launched the “Operation Clean Your Frontage” initiative for the Greater Accra Region with over 3,500 persons deployed to implement sanitation by-laws under the initiative.
The policy by the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council seeks to, among other objectives, make it obligatory for all individuals and corporate entities to be responsible for the cleaning and greening of their immediate surroundings.
The necessary by-laws have been passed and gazetted by the 29 Assemblies in the Greater Accra Region to enable the lawful implementation of the initiative.
At Circle, there was a near clash between the police and traders during the enforcement of sanitation by-laws.
Traders at the “Maame Dokuno – VVIP” enclave protested their eviction by the Operation Clean Your Frontage Campaign led by the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Henry Quartey, bringing the exercise to a halt momentarily.
A bulldozer, deployed to demolish some unauthorised structures, had its windscreen smashed, compelling the driver to retreat.
Mr Quartey, addressing participants before take-off, said the exercise was not meant to deprive traders and street hawkers of their livelihoods but to ensure their safety and to rid the city of the filth that had engulfed it.
Lawlessness and indiscipline, he said, was beginning to take over the region, and, therefore, called on the public to get involved and ensure that the right environment was created.
The Regional Minister, responding to the incident at Circle in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said, the structures had been illegally sited for four years and notices issued to the occupants monthly for the structures to be pulled down were unheeded.
He said the assertion that there were no consultations with the occupants were untrue, adding that the Korle Klottey Municipal Assembly took advantage of the campaign to demolish the structures because of earlier resistance.
According to the Regional Minister, there had been several visits to the area to engage the occupants and traders, stressing that in 2021, when such an attempt was made a police officer was assaulted.
“Lawlessness will not be countenanced,” he stressed and said anyone identified vandalising the bulldozer would be made to face the full extent of the law.
Mr Quartey said a Rapid Response Team to carry out the enforcement of the “Operation Clean Your Frontage” by-laws and ensure strict adherence across the Region was undergoing training.
“By March 2022, the first batch of over 1,500 to 2,000 will pass out to be deployed to designated areas to ensure that people don’t sell on the streets, and commercial vehicles are also properly managed, so they don’t create unnecessary traffic.”