The National Service Scheme (NSS), La Dade-Kotopon Municipal Assembly (LaDMA), Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and Zoomlion have joined forces to champion President Nana Addo Dankwa’s vision of making Accra the cleanest city.
This commitment materialised during a collaborative cleanup exercise held on Friday, December 8, 2023, at the La Da-Kotopon, Ledzokuku and Ashaiman municipalities.
The event, a part of NSS’s 50th-anniversary celebrations, served multiple purposes. Not only did it aim to enhance the Military-Civilian relationship, but it also sought to contribute to the overall improvement of sanitation in LaDMA. Following the cleanup initiative, a free medical health screening was organized, emphasising a holistic approach to community well-being.
Speaking after the cleanup exercise at the forecourt of the La Trade Fair, the Executive Director of the NSS, Osei Assibey Antwi, expressed his dedication to ensuring the success of this initiative.
He lauded the efforts of the National Service Personnel Association (NASPA) and the outstanding commitment exhibited by the community in maintaining cleanliness. He praised the enthusiastic participation and dedication demonstrated by the community members in their collective endeavor to keep the city clean.
“Going round for the cleanup exercise, the NASPA did well, and the community participation and commitment I saw in them for keeping the city clean was wonderful,” he stated. He reminded them that Ghana had invested in their education, urging them to reciprocate by contributing to the nation’s wellbeing.
Mr Assibey Antwi explained that President Akufo-Addo’s vision was a challenge to all Ghanaians, especially NSPs to take up responsible roles in ensuring that Accra is transformed into a clean and safe city.
According to him, the President’s vision extends beyond the purview of the Sanitation Ministry, urging all Ghanaians, including NSS personnel, graduates, Municipal Chief Executives (MCEs), Ghana Armed Forces, and various stakeholders, to actively contribute to the cleanliness and safety of Accra.
“The President is the leader of the country, so the vision to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa is a collective challenge to all Ghanaians and not only the Sanitation ministry. NSS, the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), Ghana Armed Forces, and all stakeholders have roles to play. We all, as citizens, have roles to play if the vision can be achieved. We require the support of the populace to be successful,” Mr Assibey Antwi stated.
The NSS Executive Director underscored the essential role of each citizen in the transformation process. He called for a united effort, stating that “the success of the vision hinged on the collaboration and support of the entire populace”
Ambassadors of change
He challenged NSS persons to become ambassadors of change, leveraging their collaboration with the Military to instigate positive transformations in their communities.
He further envisioned the joint cleanup exercise becoming a monthly ritual, with plans for potential quarterly initiatives. Drawing from his experience as a former Mayor, he stressed the need for continuous efforts community-wise keeping the city clean.
Mr Assibey Antwi proposed allocating specific days for community-wide education on the significance of cleanliness, aiming for a citywide transformation.
“I hope that next year, through this colloboration, 3 days will be set aside to be observed as cleaning period to enter community to community, house to house to provide the education on why it is important to keep our surroundings clean and embrace cleanliness,” he said.
The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Vice Admiral Seth Amoama, expressed the unwavering commitment of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to collaborative efforts aimed at maintaining a pristine environment.
Vice Admiral Amoama conveyed the appreciation of the President, Ministry of Defence, and the Military High Command for the collective success of the cleanup initiative. He emphasised the significance of understanding and embracing the importance of cleanliness in the environment, echoing the President’s vision of making Accra the cleanest city.
“Maybe we should’ve started this exercise long ago, but today we’ve all come together, we say, it is better late than never,” he stated optimistically, underscoring his belief that the exercise could be sustained and repeated monthly.
The CDS extended congratulations to both the present and past executives of the National Service Scheme (NSS) and all National Service Personnel (NSPs) for their exceptional service to Ghana. He disclosed ongoing discussions with the NSS Director on enhancing collaboration between NSS and GAF, stressing the potential for significant national development.
He highlighted the prospect of addressing food security through collaborative efforts, expressing readiness to delve into agriculture at a substantial level. He further revealed intentions to establish a scheme involving military training to instill discipline in the youth.
The CDS emphasised the importance of fostering good neighborly relations among the communities of Ashaiman, Ledzekuku, and LaDMA. He acknowledged occasional confrontations but urged joint efforts through cleanup exercises for community development.
Vice Admiral Amoama further called on all garrisons of the GAF to demonstrate their commitment by actively participating in the cleanup exercise next year to solidify their dedication to a cleaner and harmonious environment.
For his part, the MCE of LA Dade-Kotopon, Solomon Kotey Nikoi, commended the collaborative spirit that contributed to the success of the cleanup exercise. He recognized the vital role played by each partner and expressed optimism about the positive impact on the community.
He also emphasised the need for incessant cleanup efforts to sustain the achieved level of environmental cleanliness. He acknowledged the significance of ongoing initiatives in fostering a cleaner and healthier living environment for the residents of La Dade-Kotopon and beyond.
(5th left) Solomon Kotey Nikoi, LA Dade-Kotopon MCE, (middle) Vice Admiral Seth Amoama, Chief of Defence Staff, (5th right) Osei Assibey Antwi, NSS Executive Director, with other GAF officers, staff of NSS and LaDMA