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Business News of Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Source: thefinderonline.com

Data on waste generation outdated

Panellists at a forum on sanitation have made wide-ranging proposals aimed at addressing the rising poor sanitation situation in the country.

Solutions outlined

The measures include securing new landfill sites, employing people with requisite expertise, converting waste to power, using waste for organic fertilisers, beefing up staff strength at the Sanitation Ministry, conducting research into the volume of waste generated in Ghana, as well as attitudinal change.

The forum was organised by One Ghana Movement and Citi 97.3 FM, in partnership with the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) Law School and The Finder newspaper.

It was on theme “Environmental Discipline, Dealing with filth in Accra”.
Expert emphasizes waste management

At the forum, a waste management researcher and a senior lecturer at the Department of Geography and Resource Development at the University of Ghana, Professor Martin Oteng-Ababio indicated that it is about time government shifts attention from waste collection to waste management in addressing the issue of poor sanitation facing the country.

Data on volume of waste generated outdated

Revealing that the data currently being used as the volume of waste generated in major cities are outdated, he called for a comprehensive research in ascertaining the volume of waste generated in the country, in order to effectively tackle the situation.

Data on volume of waste generated collected in 1993

According to him, the last time research was conducted into the volume of waste generated in a place like the Accra Metropolis was 1993.

He was of the view that the outdated data contributes to the poor sanitation that has bedevilled the country.

Employ people right expertise

Professor Oteng-Ababio also spoke about the need to employ qualified people in the sector and sanitation-related institutions.

AMA calls for review of law

Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Mohammed Adjei Sowah also called for a restructuring of the governance structure to make the AMA more empowered to address the poor sanitation in Accra.

Law limits AMA's powers

He argued that the current governance structure limits the powers of the AMA to do a lot of things, even though the responsibility is on the assembly to do everything.

For example, he said, the road traffic regulations give the mandate of regulating motor traffic to the Motor Traffic and Transport Department of the Ghana Police Service (MTTD), but lamented that the lack of maximum co-operation between the assembly and the police makes it difficult for the AMA to fully deliver on its potential.

AMA calls for metropolitan police

To this effect, he was of the view that a metropolitan police that will operate directly under the control of the assembly be established.

Material recovery site in the offing

On his part, Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Joseph Kofi Adda announced that negotiations are currently far advanced with landowners who are willing to offer land, ranging between 40 and 100 acres, to construct a new form of landfill site, termed a material recovery site.

According to him, when the new site is ready by the end of the third quarter of this year, it would serve as an alternative to the Kpone landfill site, which is getting full.

Processing and recycling of plastic waste

Kofi Adda explained that it would have an integral facility that would come with a siting station for processing and recycling of plastic waste.

Inadequate staff at Sanitation Ministry

He also lamented the inadequate staff at his ministry, to which government is in the process of employing more professionals to augment the work his ministry is doing to address the issue of poor sanitation in the country.

Joyce Aryee calls for change in attitude

In her welcome address, founder of Salt & Light Ministries, Joyce Aryee identified bad attitude as the single biggest problem facing the fight against poor sanitation in Ghana and called for a change in attitude.
According to her, citizens must also be educated on the repercussion of their actions.

She added that the onus lies on authorities to take the appropriate sanctions and punitive measures against people who flout rules to keep the environment clean, to serve as deterrent to others.

The initiative, she noted, has become absolutely necessary, as it has the potential of reforming the attitude of the citizenry with regard to the environment and eventually minimising the economic and social cost of managing the country's sanitation.