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Business News of Sunday, 3 February 2019

Source: ghananewsagency.org

Trade organizations happy with level of engagements on cargo disinfection exercise

Trade organizations have lauded the level of consultation among them, the Ministry of Health and LCB Worldwide towards the implementation of the cargo disinfection exercise at Ghana's sea ports.

The organizations in 2018, raised concerns over the absence of stakeholder deliberation on the disinfecting of cargos, cars, vans and other vehicles visiting the ports leading to the suspension of the exercise last year.

They had accompanied Mr Kweku Agyeman-Manu, Minister of Health (MOH), Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Director General, Ghana Health Service (GHS) and Mr Raphael John Marfo, Director of Port Health, to inspect disinfection tunnels installed at seven exits and entry points at the Tema Port.

Mr Joseph Paddy, Public Relations Officer, Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), told the Ghana News Agency that their request to input into the exercise was granted resulting in several meetings with the MOH and the implementers, LCB, leading to its repackaging.

GUTA backed the disinfection exercise since it would benefit all Ghanaians as the project would ensure a mandatory disinfection of major markets in addition to disinfection of all boarding Senior High Schools (SHS) in the country, Mr Paddy said.

Mr Samuel Aggrey, General Secretary, Food and Beverages Association of Ghana, played the consumer’s advocate explaining that the final consumer stood to be protected from bugs and infections.

“Importers do not know where and what conditions their containers go through and the pathogens they may have attracted before reaching the shores of Ghana, “he said.

Mr Aggrey indicated that government had taken the right path especially when it seeks to implement it in accordance with the World Health Organization's (WHO) regulations.

The 15 million US Dollar project is a 100 per cent private investment which involved the mobilization, construction and operation of disinfection facilities at the country's sea ports and other entry points.

The GHS signed a service agreement with LCB Worldwide after Ghana ratified the WHO International Health Regulations and included it in the Public Health Act 851 of 2012 to prevent and protect Ghana from risks and threats of dangerous infections from abroad as a bio-security measure.

A service charge which included Value Added Tax (VAT) ranging between the equivalent of seven US Dollars and $20 is expected to be paid by cars, other vehicles and cargo trucks.

A disinfection certificate valid for international trade to each container that passed through the system will be processed and awarded promptly.

Mr Agyeman-Manu, after the inspection, expressed satisfaction at the installations and announced that ongoing engagements would end soon for the commencement of the exercise by the end of February, 2019.

He added that if Ghana failed to implement the disinfection exercise obligation, it would reach a time when cargoes from the country would not be allowed into other ports in the world.

Mr Kareem Abu, Public Relations Officer and Local Partner of the LCB Worldwide, explained the concept and operation of the disinfecting facilities.

The tunnels were built with steel and aluminum frame panels with the latest technology which allowed vapourized disinfectants to be sprayed from installed nozzles when the inbuilt vehicle detection radial system identifies the presence of a vehicle at the entry or exit point.

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