Posted: Tuesday 13th May 2014 at 10:42 am

Urgent payment needed to improve sanitation

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The Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA) has attributed the inability of its members to rid the Accra and Tema metropolises of filth to rising debt owed to its landfill operators, particularly at the Kpone Landfill Site. 

Expressing grave concern over the worsening sanitation situation in the country, the association said its members had been drowned in debts which was making it impossible for them to operate at full capacity.

The association indicated that the Kpone Landfill Site, which is currently the only engineered landfill in the Greater Accra Region was now operating below its capacity, a situation contributing significantly to the piling up of garbage in the national capital, Accra and Tema.

A statement signed by the Executive Secretary of the ESPA, Mrs Ama A . Ofori-Antwi, stated that currently, government was owing the operators of the Kpone Landfill GH¢4 million, the Kumasi Landfill operator nearly GH¢13 million, and the Accra Compost Plant, GH¢40 million.

“ESPA is calling on the government to, as a matter of urgency, pay oustanding debts to the landfill operators to enable them bring some life into their business, and rid the country of mounting garbage, which now threatens the health of Ghanaians,” the statement said.

According to Mrs Ofori-Antwi, the amount owed the Kpone Landfill had been oustanding since 2012, the Kumasi Landfill since April 2010, while the Accra Compost Plant had also not recieved the needed government support since July 2012.

The indebtedness, according to her, had made it difficult to operate the landfills at full capacity, the result of which was the current poor sanitation situation in the country.

“Our commitment to fulfilling our role in ensuring sound sanitation in the areas of our operation is unquestionable, and so is our capacity which is unparalleled, being a major stakeholder and service partners to metropolitan, municipal, and district assemblies,” he stated.

However, the level of indebtedness is crippling us, she stated. 

The importance of landfill in any solid waste management regime could not be overemphasised. Hence the least hindrance to accessing such sites, results almost immediately in the piling up of garbage, she stated. 

Mrs Ofori-Antwi indicated that aside from the financial difficulties, the Kpone Landfill Site operated below capacity because of frequent power cuts, which made it impossible to operate the weighbridge equipment to record data.

The government indebtedness to the operator has made it impossible for them to buy fuel and lubricants to operate the heavy machines at the site.

She gave an assurance that the prompt and regular payment of the debt owed its members would bring life into the operations of landfills and the Accra Compost Plant, and help to better deal with growing solid waste management challenges in the country. 

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