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General News of Friday, 22 July 2011

Source: IANS

Ghana turns to India to fight mountains of waste

Accra, July 22 (IANS) -- Ghana is turning to India to procure equipment worth $10 million to tackle mounting waste and poor sanitary conditions in its capital Accra and other urban areas.

Local Government and Rural Development Minister Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo said the government would procure Indian waste management equipment for distribution among civic agencies to counter the problem that is threatening public health in the African nation.

From September last year to last month, the west African country of 24 million people recorded over 400 deaths following the outbreak of cholera, attributed to the poor sanitary conditions and water contamination.

Ampofo said the equipment to be imported from India includes 25 skip trucks, 55 garbage compactor trucks, 30 hook loader equipment and 16 suction machine trucks.

He shared the information at an emergency meeting with metropolitan and municipal chief executives and waste management contractors in Accra, which has been worst hit by the government agencies' inability to remove waste.

There have been media reports that waste has piled up in front of homes in the city. Waste collection contractors have claimed that most landfill sites in the capital have become full. Some sites have become inaccessible following heavy rains.

Environmental Service Providers Association president Nana Ama Adobea confirmed that during the rains between April and September, roads leading to various dumping sites become unusable, hitting waste collection from homes.

Some of the contractors complained about obsolete equipment restricting their ability to collect and transport waste.

Ampofo said that in the last three months the government allocated 13 million Ghana cedis ($8.6 million) to support the metropolitan and municipal authorities in removing waste.

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