School kids organise forum on Accra’s garbage issue

A group of primary schools children in the Greater Accra Metropolis have organised a one-day forum to find ways to save their environment and the entire city from the growing amount of filth that threatens to consume the nation’s capital.

As you would expect, there was no significant media presence and definitely no luxury resorts involved. The forum was held in a modest classroom of one of the public primary schools in the city and the unpretentious school children chose a very simple worded theme: “Keeping Accra Clean: Just because a person is over the age of 18 or has a degree does not make that individual an adult. An adult is someone who is responsible and productive!! ”

A ten year old primary school lass who spoke at the opening of the forum revealed that the group felt obliged to take action because the adults were failing to take responsibility for the simplest of tasks. “Some responsible AMA official fails to pay the waste management company, so for weeks the bins are not emptied. The apathetic residents continue piling up the garbage until the bin is buried somewhere underneath the pile and the stench begins to rise. Then the residents begin pointing fingers at the waste management company. The waste management company passes the blame onto the AMA. The AMA then blames the residents and the waste management company. It’s like a playground where these adults keep passing the blame like a game of handball.”

Addressing the forum, another participant gave an example of how the blame game works. “Some brilliant government contractor builds open channels and drain along a major road. Some clever adult empties a sachet of water down his throat and throws it onto the road. Over time the gutters get choked and when the rains come in, the floods follow. The contractor blames the sachet-throwing adult, the sachet-throwing adult blames the government and the government blames the sachet-throwing adult and the contractor. So the blame game continues and no positive action is taken.”

With a sombre expression on his face, this young school child remarked, “if this is what it means to be an adult, then we are happy to remain children for ever.”

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