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Opinions of Friday, 24 January 2020

Columnist: Andra Nana Akua Mensah

The Glefe garbage dump

We have bad news from Glefe: yet again, a lagoon -a Ramsar site, is being destroyed by turning it into a garbage dump.

Instead of the refuse collectors popularly known as Borla Borla, who use tricycles fixed with buckets, taking the refuse and dumping it at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) recognized dump sites, they take it to Glefe instead.

“This place is very good for us because we save fuel and also we pay less to dump the refuse here,” said one Borla Borla man.

The Borla Borla drivers have negotiated with the caretakers of the Glefe rubbish dump and pay 20 cedis (about USD4).

At the Mallam or Korle dump sites approved by the AMA the charge per Borla Borla tricycle is 50 Cedis (about USD10).

Sadly both the Mallam and Korle dump sites approved by the AMA and sister local assemblies are important Ramsar sites and lagoons respectively, which have been polluted for years.

They are known for bird watching and the state of their aquifers is anybody’s guess.

The distance from Glefe to either Mallam or Korle is about 20km.

Besides, not all the rubbish that IS dumped into the Ramsar site in Glefe IS collected within Glefe or its immediate Opetekoi and Dansoman Last Stop neighbourhoods.

The Glefe rubbish dump has also turned into a HIDEOUT for ruffians and miscreants.

Many adolescent truants work on the Glefe rubbish dump, making an average of five Cedis (nearly one US dollar) for each morning’s round of work, monies paid to them by the Borla Borla drivers. Ghana’s daily minimum wage is GH?10.65 (about USD2).

The Glefe rubbish dump is a breeding ground for flies, insects and rodents.

And now that polio has re-emerged in ghana………

On 3FM of Accra last November, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Ghana’s minister for sanitation and water resources stated that very soon our landfill sites will be “re-engineered” and be capable of being used as “wedding grounds”, reported Ghanaweb.

Several seasoned professionals could not have been more scandalised by the minister’s statement.

“Does she know what could be in a landfill? It could include deadly gases such as Methane. And she thinks just growing flowers and grass or whatever on it makes it OK?”, asked a middle-aged physician.

No wonder our sanitation problems at Glefe and beyond keep getting worse; it is scary.

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