Regional News of Tuesday, 6 May 2014
There is a looming health crisis in some parts of the capital where waste management companies have failed to collect garbage from homes and streets for weeks now.
Residents of Dansoman and its environs, Laterbiokorshor, Sukura and others say they fear an outbreak of diseases in their communities as a result of the situation is imminent.
Joy News’ Michaela Anderson who visited some areas in the Ablekuma South and Central constituencies, reports that almost every house has bins overflowing with refuse, diffusing unbearable stench.
Information available to Joy News suggests some landfill sites in the capital, including the Abokobi and Achimota, have been closed down.
Waste management company, Zoomlion, is also said to be retrenching some staff due to a breakdown of their equipment and government’s failure to pay for services rendered.
Robert Coleman who speaks for the company told Joy News all waste management companies in the region are facing the challenge of disposing of waste.
He said though they are aware of the challenges and dangers the uncollected refuse could pose to residents, they are helpless.
The major problem the companies are facing now is landfill sites, he noted.
Mr. Coleman suggested that most assemblies have reneged on their responsibility to provide final disposal sites for waste management companies.
Residents associations have been notified about the problem, he stated.
“It is not as if we are reneging on our responsibilities to collect the waste. People must understand that in waste management and waste collection, the final disposal site is critical and key, and if we don’t have it right, we will certainly not be able to collect the refuse regularly and timely.”
Meanwhile, Michael Tuwor, who is a Business Development Manager of the Accra Compost and Recycling Plant also told Joy News they may be shutting down soon.
He explained that for about two years now the Ministry of Local Government has failed to fulfill its part of the contract it signed with them.
“We are actually running out of funds now,” he said, stressing, “we have to finance all our working capital to loans and it is becoming quite difficult now to sustain that kind of arrangement. Come 19 if the situation doesn’t improve any better, we are planning to shut [down] and that would be a serious blow to the industry,” he remarked.
He said the compost plant manages about 550 tons of rubbish per day, constituting about 20 percent of total waste generated and collected in Accra.
“[The shutdown] should have been carried out last year; we have been holding on and trying, but now I think we have been overstretched; that is the only option left, to shut down and probably ask the close to 300 staff to go home,” he added.