|Caesar Abagali, GJA Prez|
THE Northern Regional President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Caesar Abagali has urged journalists and other media practitioners in the region to endeavour to go beyond news gathering and news reporting by engaging communal labour when the situation demands.
According to him, as individual members of the society in which they live and work, journalists ought to also see it as their civic duty and responsibility to engage in cleanup exercises and educate the citizenry to stop littering or mismanaging the environment which serves as their habitat.
Mr. Abagali who is also the Northern Regional Manager of Ghana News Agency (GNA) made this call when he led several dozens of journalists including the police and fire service personnel to clean the Tamale Central Hospital and its surrounding enclaves to mark the five National Sanitation Day Exercise instituted by government.
The National Sanitation Day exercise was instituted by government sometime in October 2014. The objective was to deal with Ghana’s embarrassingly poor sanitation situation which had cost lives of citizens and increased the country’s public health budget.
Citizens in various suburbs of the country’s cities, towns and villages, often come together on every first Saturday of the month which is the National Sanitation Day to desilt choked gutters and sweep the streets.
The team of journalists and other media practitioners who participated in the cleanup exercise came from the state and privately owned media companies including correspondents of media houses located outside the region.
The well attended cleanup exercise was also supported by the National Lottery Authority (NLA), Zoomlion Ghana Limited and Voltic Ghana Limited with T-shirts, brooms, gloves, refreshments, wheelbarrows and shovels.
The Northern Regional GJA President promised that the exercise was not going to be a nine days’ wonder because the Association and its members were very much committed to making a change in society.
A representative of NLA Mr. Fiifi Amissah lauded the GJA for the spirit of camaraderie that existed in its membership and encouraged them to continue with what they had added to what they had been doing as individual journalists at their places of work and in their communities.
He pledged the support of the NLA anytime the GJA was embarking on an exercise that sought to support a worthy course and urged journalists to continue with the public education on good sanitary practices and cleanliness.
Medical Superintendent of the Tamale Central Hospital Dr. Patrick Bampoe also commended the GJA for selecting his outfit as an institution worth supporting. He said the hospital administration was ready to partner with the GJA next time it intended to embark on a similar exercise.
Meanwhile, President John Dramani Mahama who was invited to be part of the GJA cleanup exercise came when the cleanup exercise was over. He however joined a different group at the Tamale Teaching Hospital to clean some wards and later proceeded to Yendi to break the ground for the commencement of construction work on the Eastern Corridor road.