Activities like sweeping, weeding around the town, maintaining the public toilets, and sometimes desilting drainages were regularly undertaken by the village dwellers.
The women too had a regular schedule they followed to scrub the compound that houses the community pipe borehole. This was done at least thrice a week.
The youth too were tasked to clean the public toilet on Sundays. And no one was allowed to visit the borehole with the sandals on.
This was a characteristic of the community I grew in. No one turned the backyard into a refuse dump. There was only one refuse dump for the entire community, sited far away from the community. Every morning, it was a tradition to see both young and old women carrying trails of trash to the site to dump it.
All these were very indigenous ways of keeping the community clean, healthy and lively for everyone. I am sure this was the reason why I never heard of any cholera case during the over 16 years I lived there.
Now in Accra, the administrative capital of the country, where the seat of government, seats of ministries ( which includes ministry of sanitation ), seats of ambassadors of other nations and many other important agencies and institutions are sited, one would expect that things would be far more advanced. But this seems not to be the case in Accra.
I have had the cause to compare the sanitation situations in the two cities, because our president, H.E. Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo Said he has a vision of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa sometime 2017. It is important to note that, Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda has been adjuded the cleanest city in Africa.
I see also that most Ghanaians always making references to the “Rwandan success” .
I want to look at what we do not do right here and they do it over there.
In Rwanda it is not their attitude to drop a litter on the street of Kigali. Here in Accra, there is absolutely nothing wrong with drinking a sachet water and leaving it on the street, expecting it to sublime.
In Kigali, it is not their attitude to dump refuse in gutters when the clouds form and it threatens to rain,while in Accra it is very normal to do so.
In Kigali those responsible for cleaning the street do it many times a day, while in Ghana once in a day is a miracle.
In Kigali gutters are scrubbed on daily basis while in Accra our gutters choked with silt and garbage.
In Kigali clean exercise is a daily habit while in Accra clean up exercise is reduced to once every month ( National sanitation day) which doesn’t even work.
In Kigali breaking sanitation laws is a crime and would be spotted and fined while in Accra no one cares who keeps what where.
In Kigali open defecation can not be found anywhere while in Accra open defecation is thriving.
Institutions are working in Rwanda and SANITATION fight has not been left for the president alone. In Ghana, people would dump their nearby environments and gleefully take pictures to shame the president on social media.
Winning the fight against poor sanitation in Ghana, all the citizens must have a sense of responsibility and do their parts of the fight.