When Henry Quartey was named Greater Accra Regional Minister in early 2021, many wondered what the giant legislator would bring to the table in terms of the President’s agenda to make the city of Accra the cleanest city in Africa. Within the first month, the MP for Ayawaso Central introduced an agenda that he is going to see through regardless of the opposition he faces. The Let’s Make G/Accra Work initiative saw the minister lead the G/Accra Regional Coordinating Council make strategic moves in creating a positive image for the city while protecting livelihoods of residents. These moves included clearing traders from pavements, preventing scrap dealers from burning scraps, banning tricycles from our highways and relocation traders among others.
Initially many resisted his initiatives and tried everything possible to frustrate his plans but the resistance within certain quarters did not deter him. His passion for seeing his city work again is so strong that he continues to defy the odds. His relocation of the onion sellers to Adjen Kotoku attracted a lot of attention because of his daring nature and uncompromising stance even when traders protested. It took negotiation and assurances that moving from Agbogbloshie was for their own good and their business as a whole. The traders were given a transportation allocation from the government and security protection to ensure the smooth relocation to a better-planned market space. Traders are happy at their new market and the land they occupied is earmarked for the Ablekuma Central District Hospital, one out of the 111 hospitals to be constructed to boost healthcare in the country.
Next on his list of initiatives was “Operation Clean Your Frontage” which enjoins residents to keep their frontage and surroundings clean. Operation Clean Your Frontage came up as a clarion call to deal with the filth engulfing most parts of the capital, Accra. The initiative is backed by law, with 29 Assemblies gazetting the by-laws to ensure the lawful implementation. Residents of Accra who disregard Operation Clean Your Frontage are liable to a six-month jail term or pay a fine. The initiative took full effect on 1st February 2022 with the minister reaffirming his commitment to make the capital a beautiful city again.
This was preceded by yet another clearing exercise on the pavements in the central business district and the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange (Circle). Recent visits to circle show cleared pavements with relatively little or no trading activities on the pedestrian walkways. Despite the unhappiness of some traders, many continue to adhere to the directive that saw Henry Quartey personally visit the sites and speaking to traders.
Henry Quartey has done a yeoman’s job in terms of implementing his policies and initiatives for making Accra a city worthy of being the capital of Ghana. Over the next two years, he has one of the biggest jobs in the country. The introduction of about 3500 men and women to ensure the enforcement of the by-laws will no doubt make the job easier and we all seek to make Accra Work Again and become the Cleanest City in Africa