VIDEO: Sanitising Accra; Buz stop boys on the challenge to change filthy narrative

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Despite efforts to make Ghana’s capital Accra, the cleanest city in Africa, the city continues to be home to millions of tonnes of garbage.

Almost every corner of the city is adorned with filth causing a big headache to the populace and the government. It was in this vein that when President Nana Akufo-Addo took over the mantle of governance in 2017, he promised to deal with the situation and eventually make Accra the cleanest city in Africa.

“I reiterated before you, my pledge of improving sanitation in the country and making Accra the cleanest city in Africa by the end of my tenure,” President Akufo-Addo stated in his third State of the Nation Address.

The four-year span for making this possible had to be readjusted as the timeline approached quicker than expected. The sanitation minister at the time, Ms Cecilia Dapaah, right after the COVID-19 lockdown, declared the city 85 percent free from filth. However, calls to rid the city and the country at large of plastics stand as part of evidence of the country’s incessant headache with waste.

Politicians’ contributions have for years eradicated the menace, hence Buz Stop Boys, a group led by a former civil engineer- Kwadwo Safo has taken up the mantle to ensure Accra is clean. The approach by the group is to ensure a targeted location is cleared of filth.

“Regardless of how nice your house is, generally we are regarded as a dirty people, so how do we change the narrative from what people feel about us as Ghanaians to something better? That is why we are on the street; we are not backing out; we are not giving up! Support or no support, that’s our contribution,” Kwadwo Safo said during one of the Buz Stop Boys’ usual Sunday clean-ups.

But the activities of Safo and his team do not come without challenges as the government is not forthcoming with support. Safo admits his team met with former Greater Accra Minister, Henry Quartey who lauded their works but have not been able to get support from his outfit since. The Buz Stop Boys receive support in the form of financial, logistical, and labor from individuals who buy into the campaign to sanitize Accra of filth.

To complement the efforts of the Buz Stop Boys, some Road safety advocates have joined forces to protect the volunteers from oncoming vehicles.

As the days go by, with the value of garbage still not realized in repurposing and recycling, Ghana might have to rely on the zeal of citizens like the Buz Stop Boys who rise to the occasion to help in achieving the goal of making not just Accra but the whole country clean.

Source: Ghana/ Boakye

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