Assemblies responsible for debt owed waste contractors

The government says it does not owe members of the Environmental Service Providers Association (ESPA) any money and is, therefore, not responsible for the current poor sanitary situation in Accra and Tema.

Giving reasons, the Director of the Environmental Health and Sanitation Directorate of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Naa Demedeme Lenason, said the solid waste contractors signed an agreement with the assemblies, not the central government, hence it was the assemblies that needed to pay the debt.

Parts of Accra and Tema are engulfed in filth, a situation which has attracted criticisms from the public directed at solid waste contractors for not doing their job.

The ESPA, in reaction, issued a press statement on Monday in which it expressed grave concern over the worsening solid waste management situation in the country but said the government’s indebtedness to its members made it almost impossible for them to perform.

A statement signed by the Executive Secretary, Mrs Ama Adobea Ofori-Antwi, indicated that even though the contractors were committed and had the capacity to help rid the cities of filth, they were restrained by financial resources, largely, as a result of the government’s indebtedness to them.

According to her, the government owes operators of the Kpone Landfill Site GH¢4 million, the Kumasi Landfill Site nearly GH¢13 million and the Accra Compost Plant at Adjin Kotoku, GH¢40 million. 

She said urgent payment was needed to reverse the worsening sanitary situation in the national capital and in the Harbor City.

But, according to Naa Demedeme, the assemblies were required to pay for the services of the solid waste contractors through their internally generated funds or with part of their District Assemblies Common Fund.

“We can understand if the assemblies ask for the government’s support to settle the debt, but to say that it is the government that is owing the contractors is not true,” he stated. Kpone Landfill Site

Meanwhile, solid waste trucks began to dump waste at the Kpone Landfill Site following the resumption of its operations on Tuesday, Rose Hayford Darko & Benjamin Xornam Glover report from Kpone.

Contrary to reports making the rounds that there was a long queue of trucks awaiting their turn to dump, the site was rather quiet, as trucks arrived one at a time.

The Public Relations Officer of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA), Mr Frank Asante, explained that the landfill site was constructed to certain standards.

He explained that the facility had four cells which needed to be filled by compacting the waste dumped by the trucks.

According to Mr Asante, two cells are almost full and the volume of garbage directed to the site has necessitated the opening of a new cell.

He said it was the rains that made the ground slippery for the trucks arriving to dump, which somehow slowed down operations.

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