Muslims challenged to support sanitation efforts

Hon. Kobbina Pra-Annan, Metropolitan Chief Executive of the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA), has charged Muslims in the Western Region to champion the cause of cleanliness and lead the way to make the region very clean and a tourist destination.

He gave the charge when he addressed a gathering of Muslims at an Islamic Community Public Education Outreach programme organised by Zoomlion Company Limited at the Air Force Base Mosque in Takoradi.

The Honourable Kobbina Pra-Annan commended Zoomlion Ghana Limited and Sheikh Ishaak Nuamah, an Islamic Theologian and Educationist, for organising such an event to sensitise the people on environmental sanitation.

The Chief Executive disclosed that his outfit is about to introduce a bio-degradable polythene bag, which will replace the non degradable ones currently on the market, which are causing harm to the environment.

For his part, Air Commodore Alhaji Abbass, Station Commander, Air force Base, Takoradi, advised  Muslim women who engage in various economic activities such as selling of cooked food, to endeavour to keep their surroundings clean and secure approved waste bins to store their waste, in order to prevent the outbreak of diseases.

He also urged Muslims to play a watch dog role in ensuring that their communities are kept clean.

Contributing, Sheikh Ishaak Nuamah, the Islamic Theologian partnering Zoomlion in the outreach in Islamic communities, explained that the Quran states that cleanliness is keenly associated with the Islamic faith and that any Muslim who creates and lives in filth is not practicing Islam the right way.

He said that the manner in which Muslims prepare themselves for prayer gives a clear indication that Islam places a lot of importance on cleanliness, and called on  every Muslim to live up to expectation.

“We are all at risk of getting sick or dying from filth that engulfs us,” he said, adding,   “Whether you contribute to littering of the environment or not, waste management is everybody’s business.”

Supporting Sheikh Nuamah’s assertion, Honorable Mahmud Ali, Presiding Member of the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, stated, “We are all part of the problem of insanitary environment and we should all be part of the solution to it in our communities.”

He opined that frequent clean up exercises and everyone becoming a sanitation guard will go a very long way to solve the very big problem most assemblies are facing now, adding that if proper sanitation is achieved by the people, less amount of money will be spent on health care.

Addressing the gathering, a Communication Officer of Zoomlion Ghana Ltd., Mr. Ernest Asiedu Caesar, stated that the issue of keeping the environment clean and making sure that others also follow suit is not beyond Ghanaians, if conscious effort in achieving it is made by all.

He added that Zoomlion as a company is determined to keep Ghana clean and healthy, because of the belief that the wealth of a country lies in the health of its citizenry, stating that for that matter, any individual or group of people who share that philosophy is a friend of the company.

Ernest Asiedu Caesar stressed that the Government alone cannot cope with the sanitation challenges of the country and that confronting the evils of poor sanitation in Ghana is a daunting task that calls for the involvement of all Ghanaians.

In his remarks, Alhaji Adams Goldwater, chairman for the occasion, declared that attitudinal change towards the environment is key to good health. He thus  stated that government and local authorities should be committed to ensuring all open drainage systems are covered and that there is no more construction of open gutters in the cities and towns.

He emphasised that the re-introduction of sanitary inspectors must be given the necessary legal backing, while by-laws on sanitation must be rigorously enforced.

By Edmund Smith-Asante

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