Samson’s Take: Media must declare war against this filth

Source: Ghana| Samson Lardy Anyenini
Date: 10th-march-2018 Time:  8:55:32 am

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Let the Ghanaian media repeat the zeal with which it collaboratively fought illegal small-scale mining (galamsey) by declaring war against the filth that’s set to eat us all up. It is refreshing that individuals and civil society groups are warming up to government’s agenda to rid the country of the filth that engulfs it. In My Take last week, I applauded OccupyGhana for speaking up and demanding action. I celebrated the One Ghana Movement for making sanitation a central object of its formation.

The current approach to fighting galamsey was never contemplated by this government. The media started it. Citizens thanked God the media could slow down on politics and mount such concerted fight to save the environment, water and human life itself. Government joined and marshalled the force of the State to make it successful. Now hopefully Ghana will no longer have to import drinking water in the next five or ten years as feared by the experts and the water company.

On the sanitation situation, Government may have taken the lead but it does appear it will fail once again unless the media takes another break from the politics and give full attention to this cause. Yesterday, Graphic Communications Group which was a major pillar in mobilising support for the anti-galamsey crusade under Ken Ashigbe joined the crusade against filth.

Speaker after speaker reiterated the need to enforce sanitation laws and to educate people not to litter. It was depressing to hear those mandated by law and paid to protect us from the dangers of the filth; I mean leaders at the EPA, local assemblies and even the sector ministry, blame everything - lack of funds and tools - but themselves for the current situation.

We sit on a plastic waste time-bomb, and government that hires sanitation companies to manage the waste is blaming instead of firing them for non-performance?

Yes, we cannot neglect to put the floodlights on politicians if we must assist President Akufo Addo to protect the public purse. But article 162 (5) of the Constitution imposes on us an onerous duty to “…uphold the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people of Ghana.  Let’s take Pastor Otabil’s criticism. It is truth and good feedback we must use to improve how we serve God and Country.

I have, for many years, held the examined view that Ghanaian media today is better than it used to be. The great guys of old continue to provide guidance. Those alive add the lessons of the now diverse and competitive terrain to the guidance they offer for the collective good. The media certainly has its own problems and same are being addressed including via competition.

I believe soon refreshing in-house experts will lead and dominate the discussions complemented by various classes of citizens. Party politics will have little space. Concerns about the all-year-round political season got civil societies like IDEG, IEA and the CDD come together to preach against it and suggested a political off-season legislation.

Some research has confirmed citizens want more focus, among others, on education and science for instance. There are many platforms dedicated to various sectors of life on Joy FM but I still get people express the wish that NewsFile will host more experts than politicians (NPP/NDC). I can only say citizens should support the platforms/shows which are not about politics a lot more. I note that private media is largely commercial business.

I am not unaware of the forces driving the political angles to almost every issue in this country, but that will be for another discussion. I believe though that the governance structure and over-dependence on government that influence such angles of discussion will also change. Those profound statements of the eve of independence should get us all working for what we desire in a Ghana media.

Samson Lardy ANYENINI
March 10, 2018

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