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General News of Saturday, 2 April 2011

Source: Justice Lee Adoboe

Ghana adopts Chinese technology for waste management

ACCRA, April 1 (Xinhua) -- In an effort to find a lasting solution to waste management in major cities in Ghana, the Ghanaian government and a private company have decided to adopt Chinese technology in at least three waste recycling plants.

One of the waste management project has already set up in Accra with the estimated daily capacity of disposing 300 tons of wastes in the capital city through the public-private partnership between the government and the Zoomlion Ghana Ltd.

The plant is one of three planned plants build up by Zoomlion, using Chinese technology. Another two will be built in Kumasi, a commercial city, and Takoradi, a coastal city west of the capital.

The plant in Accra was designed to process 300 metric tonnes of waste, he said, adding that the plastic and metals sorted would be supplied to fast establishing recycling companies in the country.

"China for decades now have had this technology developed in cities like Beijing, Shanghai and others to manage waste efficiently and we are pleased to be sharing this with Ghana," Ding said.

Chairman of the Local Government Committee in Ghana's parliament, Dominic Azumah, who also spoke to Xinhua during a tour of the project site, said the committee, after visiting China to familiarize themselves with the Chinese waste management system, had come to the conclusion that Ghana needed such a module to deal with its waste management situation.

"We therefore have convince the government to commit 5 million cedis (3.27 million U.S. dollars) as equity to the project in the 2011 budget," Azumah said, urging the local government ministry to facilitate the quick release of that money for the completion of the project.

He also called for the establishment of smaller recycling machines in all 10 regions of the country to deal with waste at all levels, saying that "we collect the waste well enough, but the problem has always been how to dispose of it."

The current dump-site in the city, an abandoned stone quarry pit sited at the westernmost end of the capital, is being filled with solid waste for reclaiming purposes.

It however has less than 12 months to be exhausted, and a capital that has already been hard-hit by cholera epidemic needs to find an alternative waste disposal system in the shortest possible time.

Already the residents of Weija, a suburb of the capital where the dumping site is located, have complained to the joint parliamentary committees on local government and road transport about the manner the waste was affecting their community.

Sited close to the Weija dam from which water is collected and treated for over 5 million residents, it is feared that, waste water from this site sipping through features in the rocks into the dam, posed serious health risks for consumers in the capital.

Moreover, flies hover from the dumping site into the communities posing serious health challenges to the people.

Project coordinator, George Kwesi Rockson disclosed that the recycling plant, occupying a land of 140 acres, would be offering employment to hundreds of university and polytechnic graduates who would be trained in modern waste management methods and technology.

Zoomlion Ghana Ltd started partnering government of Ghana since its inception in 2007 to manage waste in the country, using modern technology.

The company, which adopted the name of the Chinese equipment manufacturer, Zoomlion China Ltd, relies heavily on cost effective and simple Chinese technology to do its work.

The waste management company was in charge of waste management at the stadia during the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations finals (CAN 2008) held in Ghana as well as the CAN 2010 finals in Angola. Speaking to Xinhua at the project site, Ding Zhiqiang, project engineer of the waste management plants, said that the project was designed to improve sanitation in the west African country.

When completed, the facilities would have a sorting department using both technology and human resources to sort plastic and other objects from the waste.

It would also have a magnetic separator, bailer for plastic and paper, a vibrating screen and a composting bay where organic manure would be composted into manure for agricultural use.