The attention of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has been drawn to a series of online publications on operanewsapp.com and ReblessTV, a Facebook page alleging that the Minister for Inner -City and Zongo Development, Hon. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid ( PhD) and the Mayor of Accra, Hon. Mohammed Adjei Sowah "have jointly commissioned a one-seater latrine in a suburb of Accra."
Although the said publications did not confirm when this event took place, it states that both the Minister and the Accra Mayor appeared without facemasks, mischievously suggesting that the event took place amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The AMA, however, wishes to state in unequivocal terms that there is no iota of truth in the publication and that the said event which took place as far back as 20 January 2020 was an inspection of some 250 completed household toilet facilities constructed by the Akufo-Addo Government for residents of Jamestown and Chorkor at no cost to the beneficiaries.
As the photographs depict, there was heavy media presence at the said event and the records are there to verify.
It is also informative to state that over 27,000 toilets have so far been constructed in various homes in Accra since 2017 under the government’s one household; one toilet project which seeks to promote cleanliness and eliminate open defecation by ensuring that there is a toilet facility in every house.
Under the Greater Accra Metropolitan Assembly Sanitation and Water Project (GAMA-SWP) which was supported by the World Bank, the Government of Ghana pays 70 per cent of the construction cost for the toilet facility while households bear the remaining 30 per cent, however, in this particular instance the Ministry of Inner City and Zongo Development absorbed the 30% hence the inspection.
The Assembly wishes to assure the general public that as an institution, it would not undertake any activity or event especially during this time of COVID-19 without adhering to all the safety protocols and in this instance the wearing of a facemask.
The Assembly is by this response urging the general public to ignore the said publication and treat as propaganda and mischief intended to attack and discredit the hard-earned reputation of government officials.
This is a sad example of bad journalism that we must endeavour to eradicate from our public discourse. Our checks indicate that the said online portal is managed by faceless individuals who put up stories deliberately to malign people for political reasons.
Source: Gilbert Ankrah
PRO For: Metro Chief Executive