General News of Monday, 8 April 2013
Source: The Herald
The Managing Director (MD) of the Accra Compost and Recycling Plant (ACRP) has shockingly revealed that 10 percent of wastes collected in markets in Accra for treatment at the plant’s base at Adjen Kotoku near Medie are faecal matter.
Engineer Owuraku Sarfo who was conducting some visiting ministers of state round the facility said the faeces were usually rapped in black polythene bags and dumped in refuse containers stationed at the markets which later find their way into the facility; describing the menace as a huge challenge to his workers.
He noted that though workers whose job it is to sort out waste collected from the Accra metropolis are sufficiently protected with appropriate working gears, the irresponsible acts by these individuals in markets, especially in the Greater Accra Region, still possess serious health threats to them.
The Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Kwesi Oppong Ofosu, Greater Accra Regional Minister, Julius Debrah and the Accra Metropolitan Authority (AMA) Mayor, Dr. Alfred Okoe Vanderpujie, were told this when the three paid a day’s working visiting to the facility last Friday.
The Ministers had first toured some selected areas in the metropolis, including the Abokobi Landfill Site to familiarize themselves with progress of work with respect to sanitation, and later joined workers of Zoom Alliance at Akweteyman near Achimota to prepare storm drains ahead of the raining season before visiting the Accra Compost and Recycling Plant.
Mr. Ofosu described the situation as regrettable, especially when it is happening inside markets because it could pose a serious health problem for inhabitants of the region.
He said it was possible the food and water consumed in the metropolis may have this material in them, and intended meeting stakeholders to discuss this pressing matter.
“This poses serious health implication for all of us. It means that there are certain things we are not doing right. So as I said that we are going to meet, all these issues will come up because they [ACRP], having gone through all these are coming up with this information that we didn’t know of, we would put all these into context and see how we can address this challenge”, he said.
“Where are the problems coming from, why is it that 10 percent of waste collected contains human excreta? So it means that in other areas, in the markets, in the water that we drink, we are carrying those particles. We need to address all that”, he told “The Herald” exclusively.
Whiles the three government officials applauded Zoomlion Ghana, led by its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Siaw Agyapongm, disclosed that the company had specially trained ladies to handle heavy duty equipment like bulldozers because they were more careful on the job.
Mr. Debrah, in particular, expressed government’s commitment to the facility, adding that such innovations need to be supported, maintained and expanded to create jobs for the citizenry.
The MD for Zoom Alliance, Agyemin Baoteng Adjei, announced that his outfit had recruited some 15,250 workers across the country to address the sanitation challenges; a move initiated by the previous government and intensified by President John Mahama last year, which saw the launch of a national sanitation taskforce.
The Accra Mayor thanked Zoomlion Ghana for providing equipment for every clean-up exercise, adding their support to government is commendable.