Former Mayor of Accra, Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, has said Ghanaians can best determine if he failed as mayor in tackling sanitation in the capital or not.
According to him, he did his best as Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and some of the feats he chalked cannot be taken away from him by even his critics.
Responding to comments by some callers on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM on Tuesday, 30 May 2017, that Mr Vanderpuije failed to rid the capital of filth, the Ablekuma South MP said: “If anybody wants to say Oko Vanderpuije failed, I think Ghanaians will be the judges because if the funds had come in [for the Conti project] today, we would be talking differently.”
Among his achievements, he said, was the scrapping of the shift system in basic schools.
He told show host Moro Awudu: “One thing that needed to be tackled in Accra, I took on the shift system. I said no, this is not good for Accra, so we took on the shift system. We ended the shift system. Not only did we end the shift system in record time, we built over 400 classrooms to end the shift system.
“And then we said we would modernise our schools so we brought in the Millennium City schools. By the time I was leaving office, we were constructing 124 Millennium City schools. We’ve about 16 or 19 completed and very soon the mayor after me will be commissioning so many of those schools, transforming and providing opportunity for excellence and for future development of our children. That is a major tremendous achievement that you cannot wash away. I don’t care what they do or say, they cannot wash it away.
“Look at the road network in Accra today, they are driving on better roads in Accra. About 80 per cent of roads in Accra we tackled. Today, go to some of our hospitals, look at what His Excellency John Dramani Mahama put in place. So many hospitals and schools [have been built] across this nation. As for the truth you can never wash it way it will always be there.”
Stressing further on his role in ensuring improved sanitation in Accra, the first time lawmaker said: “My first two years in office we put bins in Accra. Today, some are in people’s rooms… Then we brought another company in. We developed bins into metals and anchored it in concrete in the ground but today when you go out you will see some of it have been chopped off, some have been taken out…
“Accra generates over 4000 tonnes of refuse every day, so it’s not like we generate refuse one day and it’s gone; it’s a continuous thing, it’s every day. For the first time in the city of Accra, I brought in all the waste management companies and I gave them business and I assigned them to the 10 sub-metros to collect the refuse every day… When I came to office, AMA was spending GHS1million every day for the collection of refuse. When we gave them contract, we took away that responsibility from us so that they can collect rubbish, collect the fees, and have money to do the business.
“But [today] they’ve been telling us about their challenges, they’ve been telling us about the lack of funds for trucks and heavy equipment. Today, we need to sit down and put our heads together on the sanitation situation. Don’t blame anybody for it. We should all get involved and do the right thing.”