National Security Secretariat yesterday ordered the management of Alex Oware Enterprise, a fruit processing factory, to urgently rectify problems with its waste treatment system that is posing health hazard to residents, or risk closure.
Liquid waste from the factory, located in a residential area at Asofan, a suburb of Accra, is discharged openly and form pools on nearby roads, thus causing a lot of health risks to residents in the area.
Following complaints from the residents, personnel from Human Security Department of the National Security, stormed the factory to halt the improper waste disposal practice.
According to the residents, several complaints lodged at the company, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ga West Municipality Assembly, about the health hazard being created by the company fell on deaf ears.
Journalists, who accompanied the security team to the scene, found that the factory has built its septic tank outside its yard, on a portion of the pavement and untarred road in front of the company.
A severe stench has also engulfed the area as a result of the open disposal of the waste.
In addition, the liquid waste, which according to the residents, is discharged at night, has degraded portions of the road running downhill from the factory. Samuel Inkoom, a resident told The Ghanaian Times that they had difficulty in breathing when the stench from the waste engulfed the area, especially in the evenings, saying the liquid runs down the gullies in the roads.
He said when the waste is discharged at night, the septic tank often spills over onto the road the next day. “You can’t sit here when they discharge the waste water,” he said, adding that apart from the stench, a lot of flies hover around, in addition to mosquitoes.
“Anytime the Municipal Assembly grades the road, the water from the factory washes the soil and destroys the road again,” he said.
Alexander Adarkwa Bonsu, told the security team and reporters that they have been working to resolve the problem. He admitted that some of the waste spills from the septic tank onto the road, but denied discharging the waste in the open.
He claimed that the waste was usually collected into a tanker and disposed elsewhere.
But residents who had converged at the premises on seeing the presence of the security team, challenging him on that claim, and maintained the waste was discharged onto the road. Mr. Bonsu, however, promised to convey the team’s message to the owner of the company for the appropriate action.