Said (right) taking Madam Appiagye (second right) and the rest of the MPs round the Lavender Hill Faecal Treatment Plant.
MEMBERS OF the Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government have charged the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to take punitive action against waste truck drivers who bypass the Lavender Hill Faecal Treatment Plant and discharge their sewerage and septic wastes into the sea around the Korle Lagoon in Accra.
Chairperson of the committee, Patricia Appiagyei who doubles as the deputy minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, made the call on Friday in Accra while addressing the media on the sidelines of a fact finding tour embarked upon by members of the committee to the Lavender Hill Faecal Treatment Plant and the Mudor Treatment Plant.
According to her, information gathered by the committee indicates that even though the $40 million faecal treatment plant commissioned in 2016 and being managed by Sewerage Systems Ghana Limited, has become fully operational, some recalcitrant septic and waste truck drivers continue to discharge their wastes into the sea, apparently to avoid paying fees.
“I think generally, the whole essence of this sewerage system is to stop discharge of faeces into the sea,” she said.
She said the continuous discharge of sewerage wastes into the sea at Lavender Hill “is unthinkable, it is despicable and it is something that we shouldn’t encourage under any circumstance.”
She said the AMA should urgently form a partnership with management of the Lavender Hill Faecal Treatment Plant to ensure that the dumping of wastes into the sea in the area is brought to an end.
“Nobody has any excuse for dumping into the sea because the faecal treatment plant has enough capacity to receive about 500 waste trucks a day,” according to her.
“So what we are requiring from AMA is an enforcement, so our committee will definitely pay a visit to AMA to find out why their monitoring systems have broken down and sometimes we have the discharge along the beaches,” said Madam Appiagyei.
She indicated that the committee shall ensure “that there is a legal framework that can stop the practice of dumping affluence along the beaches.”
Commenting on the essence of the tour, she indicated that “our presence here, I think has exposed us to the work so far and I must say we are highly impressed because within a period of just about two and a half years, they have almost completed the entire project.”
“I think it’s one of the projects we have supported to ensure that we will have a very environmental free system to ensure that liquid waste is well managed especially in the city of Accra.”
Managing Director of Sewerage Systems Ghana Limited, Haidar M. Said, in a remark indicated that “the plant is 100 percent operational; we have reached almost 18 hours in a day, trucks start arriving as early as 4:00am, the highest received number of trucks in a day is about 230 trucks.”
He appealed for governmental support to ensure the sustainability of the Lavender Hill Faecal Treatment Plant, pledging his company’s readiness to partner with government in building similar plants across the country.
BY Melvin Tarlue