A group of school children from a cholera prone area in Accra have refused to take part in the Ministry of Local Government’s National Sanitation Day programme and subsequently launched a more prudent sanitation programme to help change attitudes in their community.
The children explained that the ‘National Use a Bin Everyday’ campaign, unlike the National Sanitation Day, will tackle the issue of poor sanitation from the roots rather than provide a cosmetic solution to Ghana’s embarrassing sanitation problem. “Sweeping our streets and shovelling filth out of our gutters isn’t the solution. The solution is to stop the garbage from getting onto our streets and into our gutters in the first place,” explained one 9 year old school girl.
The campaign- to be observed everyday of the week, will start off with a national exercise to encourage people to use rubbish bins. “If we use rubbish bins like we should, then we will not need to spend our Saturday’s cleaning gutters,” noted the school girl.
“Find environmentally friendly ways to dispose off your garbage, don’t just throw them into open gutters or garbage bins that are already overflowing,” added another.
The school children also urged the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to throw its full weight behind the campaign. “Hopefully the adults at the Ministry will realise that the solution isn’t cleaning up after dirty people, but getting dirty people to dispose off their garbage properly. That’s just common sense but it seems the older you get, the less common sense you tend to exhibit,” observed one 10 year old boy.