By Jerry Akornor 

GA East Municipal Assembly (GEMA) has wrapped up the phase one of decongestion, clean up exercise on Friday at Abokobi as it issued stern warnings to legally nail culprits who breach physical development and sanitation bye-laws.

It follows a special decongestion and clean up exercise commenced on Monday, 26th April, 2021, by the Assembly with sole aim to propel President Akufo-Addo's vision to 'Make Accra the Cleanest City in Africa' and achieve the agenda of the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Hon. Henry Quartey's agenda to 'Make Greater Accra Work'.

Starting from Achimota ABC through Mile 7, St. Johns towards the Dome Market on day one, the phase one of the exercise, which has received wide commendations from both residents and visitors, ended on Friday, 30th April, 2021, from Dome Born Again area towards the Atomic Roundabout.

During the exercise, signboards and other structures found on pedestrian walkways and road reservations were either cut down or demolished while other businesses which had encroached on same were forced to pack off.

Addressing the media after the exercise, the Municipal Works Engineer (MWE), Peter Bah-Lano, gave the rationale for the exercise and urged all affected traders and businesses to cooperate with the Assembly.

"As the Hon. Regional Minister has said, 'Accra Must Work Again' that's why we're doing this. We want to ensure that the walkways and road reservations are vacated by traders and businesses that have occupied them so that pedestrians, especially school children, walk in safety and not on the roads, to risk their lives".

He noted that, the exercise had so far been successful and the Assembly would continue in other parts of the Municipality the following week.

"We started from Achimota ABC junction on Monday and if we're here (Dome Born Again), then we've done well. We'll continue the exercise next week. We'll select some hotspots and together with the Environmental Health Unit, continue the exercise because we leave some debris along our path of action and they have to follow and clear all", the Works Engineer remarked.

The Municipal Environmental Health Officer (MEHO), Charles Ampomah Asabre, observed that there are a lot of reculcitrant people who don't care about their environment and attack Assembly officials when they approach them to do the right thing.

He said the Assembly was taking the necessary steps to create awareness that shop owners and residents are responsible for taking care of the spaces in front of their facilities and would be prosecuted if they failed to act in this direction.

"If you have a shop, the ownership extends to your frontage which extends to half of the middle of the road. This is what we want all shop owners to know and understand that they're responsible for keeping their frontage clean", Mr. Asabre noted.

The MEHO indicated that the Assembly is going to intensify the prosecution of offenders of sanitation regulations as this is some quo non to addressing the sanitation challenges facing the development of the Municipality.

"As we speak, we've summoned a lot of people. We will follow up to ensure if they're complying and if they fail, then we'll drag them to Court. That's what we're doing and we will invigorate this action", he stated.

The exercise was led and supervised by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) Hon. Janet Tulasi Mensah, supported by the Municipal Coordinating Director (MCD), Mrs. Vera Akuffo Mante, and Presiding Member (PM) Hon. Jesse Nii Noi Anum.

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