By Elizabeth Baah
Tema, Sept. 22, GNA – The National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) has engaged residents of Tema Community One Padmore Electoral Area on issues of accountability and good environmental governance.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr. Isaac Kwame Antwi, Tema Metropolitan Director, NCCE, said the programme aimed at sensitizing the people on the negative impact of corruption on national development and how to safeguard the environment.
He said the NCCE’s, Anti- Corruption Action Plan (ARAP) in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency and other stakeholders, decided to bring the programme to the doorstep of the residents.
He said they made use of local opinion leaders to disseminate information to the community members.
“We brought the programne to the door step of the people by engaging the Assembly man and opinion leaders so that they will share what they have heard here to the others and for them to know that, corruption real and it is either we suffer from it or come together and find solutions to it, ” he said.
He said the exercise formed part of Accountability, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption program initiated by the NCCE to deal with corruption related issues in the country.
The programme began with communal labour early in the morning to enhancing good sanitation practices before the main exercise proceeded.
Mr Herbert Kpodo, who represented the Accra East Regional Director of the EPA, said unplanned settlements, indiscipline, negative attitude towards the environment, non-compliance with environmental regulations and inadequate collaboration between traditional authorities and Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assembly (MMDAs) in the allocation of land, were concerns mostly expressed in the Metropolis adding that such gatherings were crucial to good environmental governance.
He said to ensure good environmental governance, the EPA was implementing the ‘Environmental Impact Assess Regulation’ LI 1652, as an effective tool to prevent hazardous developments in the communities.
According to him, EPA in collaboration with other organizations had developed standards that must be strictly adhered to for effluent discharges, ambient air quality and point source emissions, noise control, weighted sound levels, and motor vehicle emissions adding that anyone caught contraveneing these standards would be prosecuted.
He said solid waste handling was a nagging issue and seemed to have eluded total solution except to be managed on ad hoc basis.
He stated that solid waste was one of the critical challenges facing the country especially for the MMDAs as urbanization and industrialization had turned the waste situation into an albatross.
According to him, proper solid waste management was the central pillar in creating sustainable development.
Mr. Joseph Owusu Bempah, the Tema Regional Commander, Motor Traffic and Transport Division (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service (MTTD), said Ghana had enacted a number of legislations to deal with the issue of corruption, including the Whistleblower Act which sought to encourage persons with information about public and private persons who engaged in acts of impropriety, and abuse of office to report to the appropriate places.
He said the Act stipulated the types of information that could be disclosed, persons entitled to make disclosures, individuals and institutions that qualified to receive such information.
He noted that the act provides some form of protection and immunity from the criminal prosecution in instances where the whistle blower knew and believed that the information given was truthful.
“A person who makes a disclosure referred to as whistle blower must make sure what he or she is going to say is factual and not to make assumptions. If you are a whistle blower and you make such assumptions, you are not protected under the law, ” he said
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