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General News of Thursday, 25 August 2011

Source: GNA

EPA initiates measures to improve operations at lorry terminals

Accra, Aug. 25, GNA – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has initiated measures to improve operations at lorry terminals in the country.

These include self regulatory measures where special monitoring and evaluation teams would be established to ensure the prevalence of sanity and the introduction of environmental performance for rating the various terminals.

This was announced by Mr Larsey Mensah, Director of Legal Department, EPA at the first meeting for stakeholders to ensure sound environmental management of lorry terminals in Accra on Thursday.

The EPA has identified Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), GPRTU, PROTOA, other driver associations and all those engaged in activities at the lorry terminals as stakeholders and determined to collaborate with them to find lasting solutions to the problems.

It has therefore initiated sound environmental practices on pilot basis at the New Tema and Ho-Koforidua lorry stations in Accra.

Lorry terminals in the country are to be used by drivers and passengers, but this main objective has been taken over by hawkers, food vendors and other activities that have produced indiscriminate littering, improper disposal of waste and excessive noise from Compact Disc (CD) sellers.

An ideal lorry terminal is a meeting place for passengers and vehicles which will take them to their destinations. It must have adequate toilet facilities, urinals and seating places while waiting for vehicles, therefore the need for the provision of these amenities and dust bins.

Mr Mensah said awareness creation on the major problems at the lorry terminals and steps to enforce agreed actions with the stakeholders would be the main tools to solve the current deteriorating situation.

He pointed out that Ghana was now a middle income country and needed to improve her surroundings especially the lorry terminals, adding “It is not always money that changes the situation. We need to ensure that we do things differently for the benefit of our health and the improvement of the environment”.

Mr Mensah called on stakeholders at the lorry terminals to ensure people who worked or spent their day at the terminals changed their attitudes to improve their operations.

“We need to identify the problems and challenges that bring about these problems,” he added.